Recently, I requested a bid from a company to work on my lawn. The company comes highly recommended so I anticipated accepting their bid until I heard something the man who prepared the bid said with pride, “We work seven days a week from early morning until dark.” Rather than say yes, I said I would let him know soon, all because I needed to ponder that statement. Days turned to weeks as I traveled for continuing education and took a long vacation. He called multiple times and still I could not commit. Finally, I had to admit to myself that I just couldn’t get past that statement, “We work seven days a week…” It’s not like I don’t do business with other companies that are open seven days a week but I had not seen it for this type of business previously. Before I became a pastor, it used to be clear to me from the fourth of the ten commandments that Sunday was the sabbath, set aside by God as a day of rest and worship. Then I became a pastor and Sunday became a work day for me. And now, I pastor two house churches that purposely do not meet on Sundays and for whom at least part of their sabbath is a weekday evening. I heartily affirm our commitment to house churches that can meet any day or time of the week. As I discovered in this interaction, though, I had not personally re-imagined sabbath in light of our new reality where worship and sabbath rest might be separated from each other.
So, tell me, how do you understand the concept of sabbath? How do you observe sabbath?