Remembering the Sabbath

Isn't Sunday supposed to be the Christian Sabbath? Whatever happened to those Blue Laws? In my hometown around the time of Reagan's first election, the First Baptist Church led an opposition to repealing the Blue Laws. Who would dare work on a Sunday? Only heathens.

These days most Blue Laws have gone the way of the dodo. Kids today don't know what a dodo is much less what Blue Laws were. Are we any better for it?

In my younger days, to say that someone couldn't go to the grocery store on a Sunday was ludicrous in my mind. No one should be punished by God's Laws if that person didn't even believe in God in the first place, much less those of us who believe in God but still need a quart of milk. After all, a quart is too much to borrow from a neighbor. There are limitations on the amounts of groceries one can borrow from a neighbor before one should just hightail it to the store.

Those olden days are much missed. Things were slower; or so they seemed. People used to actually talk to each other; rather than communicate online to someone sitting in the next room. Meals took longer to prepare than it takes a car to drive from Window #1 to Window #2.

In today's fast-paced world, remembering the Sabbath and keeping it holy can be a challenge. (Whether the Sabbath is Saturday or Sunday is fodder for another blog entirely.) We Americans seem at best conflicted and at worst ignorant when we extol the virtues of a Yankee work ethic but forget that the Puritans insisted that all work cease on the Sabbath because a good Sabbath made a good Christian.
Of course it was easier to keep the Sabbath in Puritan days when the church was the law of the land. In today's America, whose church would be the law of the land? My cousins' fundamentalist church that doesn't allow women to wear jewelry, makeup, or pants?
Just as a person's relationship with God is a personal one, keeping the Sabbath should be personal as well. Let the heathen shopkeepers open their stores but let the observant Christian decide whether to patronize a store on the Sabbath. Let the sports fields be filled with youngsters and their balls, and bats, and sticks, and nets, but let the observant Christian decide whether their offspring will join a team with games on the Sabbath.
With all of the Biblical instructions for the Sabbath, both New and Old Testament, keeping the Sabbath can actually be interpreted in myriad ways. One of those ways, even with the blessing of a priest, could be forgoing a church service in place of a drive in the country with one's spouse.
In the fast-paced world of modern-day America, setting a day aside that is different from the others can mean spending a precious few hours alone with a husband or wife who puts in ungodly hours trying to keep up with that Yankee work ethic. Maybe the Gaelic family is the modern-day equivalent of our Puritan ancestors.


  1. Religious reasons or non reasons aside, as our society grows poorer financially, the luxury of non work days becomes too expensive for a family worried about eating.

  2. Laoch, that's a point I didn't consider. It's very sad for society in general when non-work days become nonexistent for a large part of the population.

  3. Because Jesus was a Jew and his Sabbath was on Saturday - so is mine. And my life actually moves a lot slower than most people. I learned long ago there is no job security in this great country - so my income is not dependent on someone else - it comes from multiple sources and I am the boss - everyday I thank my lord and savior and sweet creator for blessing me with talent and a brain and a dream to chase - this was a great entry!