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Monday, November 21, 2011

Calmly, Quietly, Simply Radical

{Nota Bene: Sometimes we read or hear this subject as if it were a prison house, a bondage, a set of shackles that confiscates our independence. Yet God, who has liberated us in and through Christ gives us a plan to live out, to enjoy and be refreshed by, this liberty. As you peruse the following, read it through the lens of liberation.}

Beyond the plodding practical stuff of preparing for Sunday, there are ways in which wholeheartedly practicing the sacredness of the Lord’s Day starts to show itself as indisputably countercultural. Here is where you will start getting flack from family, friends, and society; this is when you’ll start getting asked if you belong to a cult or get treated like you’re a nut case. The simplest way to enjoy the sacredness of the Lord’s Day is to refrain from all commercial and organizational recreation/sports activities as possible.

For starters, seek to avoid internet shopping on Sunday, along with fundraising work, all non-immediate home repairs, house-cleaning and yard work, bill paying, organized amusements and performances (specifically those that take away the holiness of the day and steal you from Church). Similarly, steer clear of eating out and Grocery shopping (in non-urgent situations). All of these are practical examples of the overarching principle in Exodus 20.8-11

“Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.”

By following this path, you will be living out the liberty God has given you in at least two ways: (1) By being freed from the enslaving, exhausting despotism of the marketplace, the sports world, organized entertainment pressure and the niggling-nagging annoyances of your yard or house; (2) But also you will be loving your neighbors, especially the waiters, laborers and the minimum-wage earning servers, by extending the liberty of the Lord’s Day to them.

Imagine if the majority of Christians in North America returned to the freeing, Sabbath-shaped practices that their grandparents and great grandparents once held to, how that would rattle the nerves and agendas of the subtly secularizing society we live in, from the White House to the Clearing House! It’s a simple (though not easy) way of being calmly, quietly, simply radical.

Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.”

Mike

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