Keeping the Sabbath

The Fourth Commandment:

“Observe the sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you.  Six days you shall labor, and do all your work; but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, or your manservant, or your maidservant, or your ox, or your ass, or any of your cattle, or the sojourner who is within your gates, that your manservant and your maidservant may rest as well as you.”   -Deuteronomy 5:12-14, RSV.

I remember reading the Little House on the Prairie books when I was a kid.  One of the things that struck me the most was how they spent Sundays.  They’d work all day Saturday, cooking and cleaning and washing, so they wouldn’t have to do anything on Sunday.  Then after church, they’d all sit quietly, maybe reading the Bible, but doing absolutely nothing else until the day was over.  It sounded like torture to me.

It used to be that everyplace was closed on Sunday; now almost no place is.  You can shop and eat out on Sunday just like any other day for the most part.  Our minister has mentioned keeping the Sabbath, and recommended that we try it.  Not necessarily sitting quietly all day, but at least not doing any work.  He also has suggested that we consider not contributing to other people’s work – not shopping or eating out. 

It’s interesting to think about.  I usually work in the house on Sunday, because I have to do laundry or something to keep up with the chores.  For instance, I spent just about all day yesterday “working,” and I didn’t get it all done.  So I have some laundry to do today, and I’ve already washed some dishes, and I’ve graded two quizzes in the online class that I teach (that’s the real work that I get paid for!).

But I’m working on it.  It would be nice to have one day just to sit quietly, knowing that I have done everything that I need to do, and I can just read or watch football or whatever.

It takes a lot of planning!


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