This past week I taught some 2nd grade boys about "Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy". In researching ways to make this concept applicable to young boys, I learned a lot. And then, just yesterday, I learned a little lesson about it myself...
I love Sunday afternoons. I nap. Almost every week. I take that "day of rest" idea LITERALLY. As a mom of 6, it's usually my BEST sleep of the whole week. Those few hours after Sunday lunch, before evening service are a haven to me. I close the blackout curtains in my bedroom, snuggle with my pillows and blankets, and whisper a little "Hallelujah!" before I drift off. Sabbath activity complete.
With my Bible class, we learned about how God demonstrated the idea of a day of rest, a Sabbath, even before He gave the Israelites the commandment. He rested after the 6 days of creation. Now, I do not think that the act of creation was "work" for God, and that He *needed* the rest. After all, He just SPOKE it all into existence, right? That is how powerful His words are! He was demonstrating in that day of rest, that WE need it. Then, when the Israelites were wandering in the desert, and He supplied the manna for them, He also gave them a Sabbath from collecting their food. This again was before He gave the 10 Commandments, with Commandment 4 of "Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy."
We learned about the Old Testament consequences of not keeping the Sabbath, and how later the Pharisees took that very seriously, eventually trying to trap Jesus, in Matthew 12 and Luke 13, when He healed on the Sabbath. Jesus said, " It is lawful to do good on the Sabbath."
We talked together about how "keeping the Sabbath" for us might look a little different. It is all about a change in emphasis, in perspective, on that day. It is to be "Holy", which means "set apart". How can we "set apart" this day so that our focus is on the Lord? We brainstormed ideas such as writing letters to missionaries, having worship music on in the home, making a picture of your blessings, Bible journaling, collecting old toys to donate or sell to raise money for Missions, etc...
The day should look and feel different from a perspective point of view, not just different because I get to take that blessed nap.
So enter yesterday...Super Bowl Sunday. I did get a little nap in, so yes, that was awesome. But when I woke up, I was informed that my husband had invited my parents over for the Super Bowl. I had sort of been looking forward to staying in yoga pants and digitally scrapbooking ALL evening. After all, there was no Sunday night service, which meant I did not have to go teach Children's Choir! I was getting an evening to do whatever I wanted! But now, I looked around my trashed home, dirty bathrooms and kitchen, and realized that my fantasy evening was dying. It's not that I don't enjoy having my parents over (in case you are reading, Mom), it's just not what "I" had planned for my DAY OF REST, y'all! So, I started cleaning furiously, simultaneously starting to cook for the festivities. I was running back and forth from the kitchen to other rooms, and all the while having a VERY BAD ATTITUDE. My husband was literally lying on the couch watching TV as I was doing EVERYTHING. I was glaring at him at each pass. Of course, He didn't notice. I was thinking how awesome it must be to be a guy on Super Bowl Sunday.
Then I remembered what Jesus said to those Pharisees. "It is lawful to do good on the Sabbath." It is GOOD for me to serve my family. It is GOOD for me to make their fun evening enjoyable by cooking their favorite snacks and desserts. It is GOOD for precious memories to be made watching the Super Bowl with grandparents. It is GOOD for me to more hospitable. It is GOOD for me to serve them with a smile and not a bad attitude. THIS is my ministry, my everyday mission field of eternal souls.
So sometimes, as a mom, my Sabbath may not be a literal day of rest, but if it is truly about my perspective, and serving the Lord as He wants me to, then in my service, I can certainly make it Holy.