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Posts Tagged ‘sabbath out of style’

“Shabbat Shalom!”

This is a great Hebrew greeting which simply means, “Peaceful Sabbath” [to you].

Unless one is a hermit, it’s hard not to notice that we live in a volatile and troubled world. As greetings go, to wish someone “peace” is probably one of the most benevolent audible blessings to dispense.

But the Sabbath has gone out of fashion. Years ago, I was involved with a New Jersey lobbyist who thought, after receiving his retainer from retail clients, that it was the height of progressive thought to get rid of the “blue laws” which prohibited commercial enterprise on a Sunday. These laws had been in effect since the colonial period. He was successful and the blue law turned into a “green law.”Now, there is hardly a thought given to going to those shopping malls on a Sunday. In fact, it’s part of weekend tradition. As their slipping into that new dress in the changing room on a Sunday afternoon, most young people would now be oblivious to how recent this change occurred.

The same thing goes with all of those sporting events on Sunday. I see as many cars surrounding the local Pop Warner football fields and soccer fields as I do in the church parking lot.

But people will pay big bucks to counselors and psychologists in an effort to buy some peace. They will wonder why they can’t seem to rest. Michael Jackson and Elvis might be here today. I wonder how many others are searching for a piece of peace for their restless and tortured souls.

Most people equate sabbaths with Jews who walk to the synagogue. Many Christians blow off the sabbath because the Book of Hebrews states that Jesus is our real sabbath rest; that is, we can strive from trying to save our own souls because of His finished work on the cross. As a Christian, I believe this is true. This was written to warn early believers who wanted to go back to trying to keep ALL the laws on their own power and out of love of God, which is admirable but impossible. Indeed, Jesus is our sabbath when it comes to our sins as it is aptly stated in the bible: “There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest…” Hebrews 4:9,10, 11a

But I can’t let Christians off the hook when it comes to keeping the sabbath because most of them don’t. Through ¬†conviction by the Holy Spirit and some very hard lessons, I am now convinced the sabbath is not out of date and God didn’t hit the delete button on the 10 Commandments. They are literally chiseled in stone.

On two separate occasions, I was convicted not to go shopping on the sabbath and I disobeyed. One time, it was to pick up a bed. I pulled my back out and I never forgot it. Another time, I was going through a toll booth and I could tell the collector had a horrible cold and as she handed me back my change, I knew she was handing me her germs. I got deathly sick. I thought I had learned my lesson, but just yesterday, I had a check in my spirit about going to a Batman movie at the theatre and it was anything but peaceful and messed up our whole day up, setting up a chain of events that ruined my wife’s peace.

Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut keeps the sabbath. He recounts in his book, “The Gift of Rest,” that he had to slosh home in the pouring rain (with a Capitol Police car for security following him) because the U.S. Senate got out late on Friday evening, the beginning of the Jewish sabbath. He doesn’t drive on the sabbath. I don’t know about the driving part, but it is a wonderful book about deliberately secluding oneself from the turmoil of life and concentrating on God – like safely getting back to the bunker in war time.

If you’re still not convinced, look God in the eye and tell Him that He doesn’t know how to dress His bride. “Shabbat Shalom” on that one. She’s still a knockout in His Book.

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