Viewpoint from Brian Thorne for 10/9/10
Brian L Thorne
Reader (Licensed Lay Minister) St Mary Magdalene Church
Most of us are encouraged to take at least one day’s rest in the week – we work for 5 or 6 days, then have some time off. For the Je
ws, this was called the Sabbath which originally was Saturday, but we in the current Christian world view this day of rest as Sunday.
But why bother with the Sabbath? Isn’t it an old fashioned idea best left to the Jews? Does it have any relevance in a 24/7 society like ours? Well yes, it has more relevance that you would think.
The bible opens with the account of creation in seven days, or rather on six days for the seventh was of rest which God took. This is a God of being, not just of doing: his work is incomplete when it consists of nothing but activity; it is in some sense finished only when he catches his breath for long enough to delight in what he has created.
We are busy individuals in this day and age, but we too must take a day during the week to evaluate what we have done, or not done during the week.
To be worthy of being called a Christian needs a healthy balance between work and rest – this is the Sabbath. It is the only commandment which is mentioned twice, and is also the crown and climax of t
he Ten Commandments.
On the Sabbath we are commanded to step out of our me-centred work-obsessed busyness and see everything in a new light.
A Christian is called to love and serve. When was the last time you invited someone, particularly a stranger round your house or church for a coffee and biscuits or better still a meal to show them Jesus’ love in practice. We wonder why congregations in our churches are diminishing – is it perhaps, no matter how welcoming a church we are, all the welcome and love start and finish at our church doors.
As we read in our new testament, Jesus did not confine his activities to 6 days a week – he had a different perspective on work. Whenever people needed his help, he gave it. Should not we follow his example and at least on one day – be it the Sabbath or not, invite those who are not churched to experience the love of God through us.
This is not to denigrate the value of the Sabbath. We still need as God’s disciples to experience at least one day when we can be at one with our creator(it doesn’t need to be Sunday) – to experience his love and peace for ourselves and to build us up for the following days of service.
From the Viewpoint Co Editor
Please note that these are the views of the author