Upstream. A Mohawk Valley Blogzine.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Remembering The Sabbath

I grew up in a Fundamentalist Baptist Church in which Sabbath laws were strictly enforced. We believed in the Commandment that says, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.“ Sometimes I think our church substituted the word wholly for holy. On Sundays we were not allowed to play or watch sports, play secular games, or ride our bikes. Actually, it would be easier to say what we were allowed to do. We could read Christian books, play Christian games, take a nap and talk to each other. (We turned Monopoly into a Christian game by quoting Bible verses after each move).

Sunday also involved going to Sunday School and Church in the morning and Youth Group and Church in the evening. On the last Sunday of the month, we spent the afternoon visiting the elderly in nursing homes.

I often chafed at our strictly regulated Sundays, but now that I am older I look back at it with some fondness. We have never kept the Sabbath in the same way my father did. Nevertheless, there was something very restful about those Sundays.

Even people who didn’t keep the Sabbath as we did, nonetheless treated Sundays differently than we do today. Most stores and factories were closed. Hardly anyone worked on Sundays. People spent time at church and with their families.

This has all changed. Sunday is no different than any other day for most Christians. It has become a harried day that we use to catch up from getting behind during our harried week. Wal-Mart has a larger congregation on Sunday than most churches.

It is unlikely that our country will ever go back to keeping the Sabbath the way we used to. Secularism has destroyed that. Furthermore, Jews celebrate their Sabbath on Saturday and Muslims on Friday, and they have a right to celebrate their Sabbath on the day their religion requires them to.

I know also that I will never keep the Sabbath in the same way that my father did. I do go to church on Sunday morning. I do try to relax on Sunday. I avoid work as much as possible, stay away from the stores and spend time with the family, but I avoid the nit-picky rules that were imposed on me as a child.

Sabbath means rest. Having one day of rest out of seven is a good habit for everyone--even atheists.


  • Christian games???
    The mind boggles.
    You mean games such as...
    'Casting The First Stone'
    'Writing On Rocks'
    'Parting the Puddle'
    'Cross-Dragging Races'
    'American Idolatry'
    'Mugging the Money-Changers'
    'Let's Sacrifice Something'
    ... and that eternal favorite of kids...
    'Lunching on Loaves and Fishies'

    By Anonymous catsamore, at 11:58 PM  

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