Keeping the Sabbath

people in churchIt seems like it is getting hard and harder these days to “keep the Sabbath,” unfortunately. There are so many competing activities on any given Sunday morning with soccer games conflicting and sporting events starting at noon and homework and family obligations that have to be taken care of before the end of the weekend.

The wife of a friend of mine recently said, “The devil is really hard at work on Sunday morning.” It’s a fact, especially in households with teenagers, where it is more difficult than ever to get them to wake up and go to church with so many other things to do.

But that is exactly why we must keep the Sabbath, to keep all the competing events in perspective. If we don’t have time for God on Sunday morning, what does that say about having time for God during the other days of the week?

The ritual of attending worship on Sunday mornings needs to be an established and uncompromising routine for the modern-day Christian.

When we are feeling over-scheduled, that is exactly the time when we need to take a breath and go to church and be renewed and refreshed in our overall mission as disciples of Christ.

No other event during the week should rank as high in our minds as our time in worship.

For me personally, going to church is the soothing balm that makes the worries of the week lose their power and makes the week ahead look a lot better because I am reminded that God is in charge of my life and he will lead me through whatever needs to get done before we gather as his people next Sunday.

I thank my parents for instilling this keeping of the Sabbath in me. I remember one time when my brother’s little league team had a game scheduled for Sunday morning, and my parents refused to let him go, even though he was the pitcher and the coach was very upset about it. We as Christians need to take a stand when it comes to keeping the Sabbath, even if it means having to miss an “important” event. No other event is that important that it would mean missing church.

There are, of course, times when we cannot physically go to church, but in those cases, we do need to set aside time for God on Sundays with prayer or Bible reading or watching a sermon online. Making the time for keeping the Sabbath in whatever way we can is what matters.

A women’s soccer team from Covenant College recently caused a stir when they forfeited an April conference championship match on a Sunday. The decision started a larger conversation about keeping the Sabbath, which is a good thing, and something we should be discussing more and more as we live as faithful Christians in what is becoming an increasingly unfaithful society.

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