It’s a difficult but important question to ask people, “How should a good Christian spend their Sunday?” Most people might answer, “By going to church” or “By praying to God so he can forgive us for our sins.” Now don’t get me wrong, these are both characteristics of a good Christian, but how can we live out the plan that God has for us and for our Sunday day of rest? Maybe the answer isn’t more, but less. Yes, I said doing less.
First a little background info…
This summer I got the wonderful opportunity to go on a mission trip with my church youth group to Nashville, TN. On our last day we did an activity called “Urban Exposure.” This activity consisted of a list of questions that we would have to ask people. Questions about God, the city, etc… This was my favorite part of the trip, and there was one particular encounter with a cashier in an old record shop that really changed my perspective on what good Christians should do on Sunday. It was through talking to this cashier that challenged my thoughts on the Sunday day of rest.
When you think of a “good” Christian you think of a loyal, selfless human being who attends church regularly and prays to God. Some people might think of other things and that’s ok, but you get the point. You go to church right, you sit through the service, you pray to God, you ask forgiveness of your sins, the whole nine- yards. You are serving God like a “good” Christian would do. You feel good after the service because you honored God but then immediately you go back into the outside world.
But here’s something you might not have thought about, are we serving or being served? Is this a day of rest for everyone or just for us?
After church most people will still have most of the day in front of them. In my case, I finish church around 12:30pm, so I am ready for lunch. Now my family likes to eat out so we will go hit up good restaurant in town. When we get there, we are seated and immediately, WE ARE BEING SERVED. Because we are at this restaurant not only are we being served, but we are denying the opportunity for other people to go and worship God on Sunday. We have just gone from serving to being served in a matter of minutes. w
While there may not be anything inherently wrong with going out to lunch with your family, God reminds us of the significant of our Sabbath day in Genesis.
“By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all of this work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the creating he had done.” – Genesis 2:2-3, NIV
The social world has changed since the time of Jesus and his teachings. Back in the day before Jesus died on the cross Sunday was a strictly a day for people to worship and pray to god. Today, Sunday is completely different from what it was 2000 years ago from a worshipping perspective. Our culture has shifted from taking a day of rest to punching the clock at a worship service. This is what I’m talking about because when we do things like going out to lunch after church, we prevent other people from having the opportunity to go to church and worship God and instead, they serve us.
God blessed the earth on the seventh day for a reason; so we could take a break from our busy lives and worship the one who gave us everything. But today it’s as if Sunday was just another day. But there are actions being taken to improve this global problem. Some restaurants like Chick-fil-a for example, are closing on Sundays so more people can spend time with there families. It’s small things like giving others the opportunity to rest and worship that help more people grow closer to God.
Next time you are out on Sunday, whether you’re getting lunch or going to the store, think about who is serving you. Be thankful that they are sacrificing their day of worship for your service. Encourage people and businesses to maybe just shorten their hours on Sundays so more time can be spent in other places. Finally, just realize the amazing love that God has for you and you should try your best to return the favor by serving god, not just on Sunday, but everyday.