It's Sunday morning and I am enjoying an unusual coolness in an otherwise brutally hot summer. Two houses down, the deep bass and rhythm of mariachi music drives in the background.
It dawns on me that most in my neighborhood don't attend church on Sunday morning. This got me thinking. Perhaps Sunday has become just another day of the week. And then I realize that perhaps this is the way God desires it.
The Old Testament the story tells us that God wanted Israel to keep the Sabbath (the seventh day of the week) holy. Now, apparently, the Israelites weren't very good or at least not consistently good at it. Their prophets complained bitterly that the Israelites dishonored God by violating the Sabbath.
In the Gospel narratives this situation is radically confronted. it appears that Jesus himself wasn't all that keen on keeping the Sabbath. When the religious authorities accused him of being a "sinner" because of his Sabbath behavior, he uprooted their self righteousness by relativizing the Sabbath. In one of the confrontations with the Pharisees Jesus confidently proclaims that "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath".
But he didn't stop there. Jesus moved the bar of the Sabbath behavior by loving people regardless of Covenant law. Later in the story, the Apostle Paul confirms his faith in Christ by upholding love above all else (See particularly, his letter to the Romans). This, it seems, is the nature of faith. It grows. And it begs us to grow with it keeping in step with the Divine initiative in our world.
Instead of observing the Sabbath as holy, God calls us to observe His/Her presence in our lives as holy. This doesn't require one day of the week. It asks for seven.
- glen edward quiring
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