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6.26.2005    |    "keep it holy"
The Big Guy His Own Self tells us, in no uncertain terms, to keep the Sabbath day holy. This is the news flash from Mt. Sinai, as recorded in Exodus 20:
8"Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. 11For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
Seems rather straightforward, doesn't it? Oh, you say, how do I survive the other six days of the week if I don't go out to buy things on the Sabbath? After all, I don't really have time while I'm working, and, on Saturday, well, the kids have soccer, baseball, and I'm just sooo tired.

Then there are those who breezily remind us that Jesus had fulfilled the Mosaic Law, thereby freeing us from those pesky commandments. At least the allegedly slavish adherance to the letter of the Law while ignoring its spirit. My take on the Sabbath is conflicted, and since I am weak, I pursue all sorts of things that might not be considered "holy." Typically things like grocery shopping, going out for a brunch after church with my wife, that sort of thing. According to the old school preachers, I should spend eight hours in church, followed by another four hours of Bible study, followed by quiet prayer and then to bed, fully fortified to face the evils of the outside (non-church, non-Bible-fearing) world.

Well, I said I was weak. I don't do these things, but, as I've learned, all things in moderation. What, you can't mean that. How can one ever get enough of the Bible? Well, I say that, among other things, God tells us to go forth and take dominion over the earth, to multiply, and do some good while we're about it.

In short, to live a balanced life, anchored in Scripture and focused on His Son, and driven by His grace. To bring Scripture and the Son and God into our everyday lives, Sabbath included, but also Monday through Saturday. To remain in the isolation chamber of church, reading only Scripture, is to become a "bubble boy", as in one so afraid of the world's diseases that one loses immunity to those ills.

I make zero claims to live a life that anyone should consider holy. I make full claim to seeking a balance and, with the help of the Holy Spirit, always, always giving thanks and praise to Him no matter what I happen to be doing.

And to seek His forgiveness when I stray. Which is often enough.

Blessings on all this Sabbath day.

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Blogger John said...

To remain in the isolation chamber of church, reading only Scripture, is to become a "bubble boy", as in one so afraid of the world's diseases that one loses immunity to those ills.

Brilliant analogy JL, and so true! Excellent post, I thoroughly enjoyed it as I do with all of your posts, keep up the good work!


7:12 PM, June 26, 2005  

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About this site and the author

Welcome. My name is John Luke Rich, (very) struggling Christian. The focus here is Christianity in its many varieties, its fussing and feuding, how it impacts our lives and our society, with detours to consider it with other faiths (or lack thereof).

Call this blog my way of evangelizing on the internet.

Putting it differently, we're only here on this earth a short time. It's the rest of eternity that we should be most concerned about. Call it the care and feeding of our souls.

I was born Jewish, and born again in Christ Jesus over thirty years ago. First as a Roman Catholic; now a Calvinist by persuasion and a Baptist by denomination. But I'm hardly a poster boy for doctrinal rigidity.

I believe that Scripture is the rock on which all Christian churches must stand -- or sink if they are not so grounded. I believe that we are saved by faith, but hardly in a vacuum. That faith is a gift from God, through no agency on our part -- although we sometimes turn a deaf ear and choose to ignore God's knocking on the door.

To be Christian is to evangelize. Those who think it not their part to evangelize perhaps haven't truly understood what our Lord told us in Matthew 28. We must preach the Gospel as best we are able. Using words if necessary.

Though my faith waxes and wanes, it never seems to go away. Sometimes I wish it would, to give me some peace of mind. But then, Jesus never said that walking with Him was going to be easy...

Final note: I also blog as Jack Rich on cultural, political and other things over at Wrong Side of the Tracks

Thanks for stopping by.