Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Take a Day Off

   This can be misunderstood, especially coming from the church or the pastor. But it means what it says...take a day off. Stop working.
   The Law says you must rest. Well, not exactly. But Labor Day was made an official national holiday by an Act of the United States Congress in 1894. The holiday originated from a desire by the Central Labor Union to create a day off for the "working man" in 1882. It is still celebrated as a day of rest for most people.  It use to be a boundary for fashion, but my wife, who regularly instructs me on the subject, says those days are gone. It also marks the symbolic end of summer for many, though on this last point we here in Columbus take issue for a couple of reasons: school started back four weeks earlier and the hottest days of the year seem to have no end in sight. Many of us will celebrate with picnics, barbecues, afternoon naps, playing in the water or heading out of town one last time. 
   Regardless of how you choose to spend your day, this Monday is a national holiday for a variety of great reasons beyond the law. I am reminded that our Congressional leaders were not the first to publicly declare that take time off to rest was important. God did the same thing a few years before that.
Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work. But the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work—you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and consecrated it. - Exodus 20
God believed taking a day off was so important, he made it a commandment for his people. Right alongside murder, idolatry of false gods, stealing, and adultery is the sin of working too much. I think it is because those who work all the time begin to believe that the world might stop if they did. Or maybe it is because God knows best how we are made and taking time to rest and remember our Maker is a matter of life and death? Either way, it is something we all need to do. 
   Take a day off from work, and use it reconnect with joy, hope, and your value apart from your work. This is the stuff of God. This is what we are about. Grace and Peace, Scott

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