In my last post I started discussing the mental journey I’ve been on, trying to understand the Sabbath. When we’re seeking God’s will, and try to please Him by obeying His laws, it’s useful to know what His laws are. The Ten Commandments strike me as the most logical departure point, but when I start there, I battle to understand why we’re no longer required to keep the Sabbath.
This has been troubling me for the past few years, and more and more so as I try to gain peace and clarity on the subject. There are three questions in this argument:
- Has the Sabbath been abolished since the death of Christ?
- If not, which day of the week is the Sabbath? How is it calculated?
- And finally, what are we allowed to do or prohibited from doing on the Sabbath.
I am investigating the first question. If you have any answers or thoughts, I’d love to hear from you.
As for question 2, the Sabbath isn’t a Sunday. Sunday is the first day of the week, and Saturday, therefore is the Sabbath. However, recently I stumbled across the website World’s Last Chance, where a rather different view is put forward. According to the researchers on this site, here’s how the Sabbath works. A new month starts the very first morning after conjunction (in other words, after the sun and moon line up with one another). The seventh day after that is the Sabbath. Seven days later, another Sabbath, and so on for four weeks, until the next new moon.
I don’t necessarily agree with everything on that site, and I’m still just trying to digest and understand it all. What I do know is that I have gone for years without taking a Sabbath, and I’m exhausted. And frankly, it just seems like there must be something we’re not doing according to God’s plan, with the way things are going. So I thought, “perhaps this is it. Perhaps if we kept the Sabbath, we’d have checked all our boxes.”
Yes, I know how that sounds.
To cut a long story short, according to the calendar on the World’s Last Chance website, yesterday was this week’s Sabbath. Now, I realise that one shouldn’t take a “let’s-see-how-it-goes” approach to doing God’s will. But I did. I took the day off.
Which brings us to question 3: what can you do or shouldn’t you do on the Sabbath?
Based on my incomplete research, it boils down to: don’t do any income-gathering work, cook food, or engage in commerce of any kind. You can do good, do God’s work, do housework (*sigh*), and I haven’t yet found anything against teaching your children on the Sabbath.
How did it go? That’s another story.