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Faith Imagined: Sabbath Day

Faith Imagined

Alisa Hope Wagner: Christian Writer

July 2, 2008

Sabbath Day

Observe the Sabbath, because it is holy to you. Anyone who desecrates it must be put to death; whoever does any work on that day must be cut off from his people.
-Exodus 31:14

I was listening to the new cartoon called The Ten Commandments in the car. My headphones for the kids don't work, and I'm stuck listening to the movies that they are watching. This movie, however, was very good. And I got to experience the exodus of the Jews from Egypt in a new way.

I intently listened to Moses (voiced by Christian Slater) read the ten commandments. The first three are about God and I thought that was so fitting: 1) You shall have no other gods before me; 2) You shall not make for yourself an idol ; 3) You shall not make wrongful use of the name of your God. "How perfect," I thought, "that the first three commandments are about our God."

Then I focused on which commandment came next. I have them memorized, but for some reason God wanted to point out the order of each commandment. Interestingly enough, the first commandment that follows the first three about God has to do with the sabbath: 4) Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.

That is probably the commandment that I worry least about, yet it is the commandment that directly follows the first three about our mighty and powerful God. It says not to simply "remember" the sabbath, but we are suppose to keep it "holy." I can honestly tell you that I HAVE NOT kept it holy; I rarely remember it!

Out of all the commandments, this should be the one that I indulge in the most! I should want to rest! But, I feel like that the time and culture we live in today, people are WAY too busy. But God is not only suggesting that we rest, He is commanding it!

I looked up holy and found the following definition: The Hebrew word for "holiness," "kedushah" (Hebrew: קדושה) has the connotation of "separateness." That which is holy in Judaism is set apart, and the separation is maintained by both legal and spiritual measures (Wikipedia).

Can I truly say that I take one day out of the week and make it separate from the rest, and not just the two hours I spend going to church? Can I truly say that my family is abiding by this commandment? Would my kids be able to say that they notice a definite difference during this one "separate" day? Sadly, the answer would be no.

I have not put much energy at all into making one day a week separate, but I'm determined to start the tradition now! I will designate one day a week when I don't work-out, don't do large chores, don't organize, don't work on the computer, and don't worry, stress, or plan. I really do want one day a week that I can spend enjoying my God, my family and my friends. I want one day a week when I can put all of my responsibilities on hold, except, of course, the ones that I have to do - change diapers, clean little messes or get my sheep if it falls in a pit (Matt 12.11).

I know that because of what Jesus did on the cross that I won't be put to death if I don't obey the 4th commandment, but I know that I also won't be blessed for obeying it. I feel like I'm missing out on blessings because I haven't been obedient. I'm determined to find out what I've been missing! I'll let you know how it goes.

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Blogger Twisting His Arm said...

I like this comment, "Would my kids be able to say that they notice a definite difference during this one 'separate' day?" I really want it to be a special spiritual day for us instead of the day we go to church and eat out. If you come up with some kid-friendly ideas to keep this day separate for God let us know! Love ya!!!

9:36 PM  
Blogger Sohl Gal said...

I remember we talked about this just after the women's conference in Austin. It's difficult to not feel guilt from the world about taking "time off." I needed this post. Thanks for sharing this.

3:46 AM  
Blogger elisa said...

I love the way you put it. I'm definetly going to be working on this in our family. We try to designate a family day, but we need a sabbath. A day of rest, family, friends, and growth in the word. Thanks for sharing!

11:21 PM  

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