Second Sunday after Pentecost
In 1961, the North Carolina General Assembly passed “An Act to Prohibit Certain Business Activities on Sunday,” which restricted the sale and the buying of certain items (clothing, household items, clocks, luggage, office supplies, etc.) on Sunday. Anyone violating these “blue laws” was subject to a hefty fine or even imprisonment.
Nowadays, most people would say that those restrictions are outdated. Most counties have abolished those prohibitions. While some businesses still choose to remain closed on Sunday, it is a choice, not a requirement. We can go to the mall, shop for groceries, and watch our children play in their various sports leagues on Sunday. Often, because our weekdays are so busy with work, we use our time on Sunday to catch up on shopping, household chores, sports practices, etc. In today’s culture, the concept of Sabbath rest has largely been lost. Life can quickly become one long cycle of work, work, and more work. Work drives the economy, right?
God has a different idea of what constitutes a strong economy. In God’s economy, Sabbath rest is essential to creating wholeness.
When we take time to do as God did on the seventh day and rest from our labor, we recognize the freedom that comes from letting go of the things and activities that occupy so much of our time and brain space. We can then focus on the One who is the creator and giver of all good things.
Jesus said, “The sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the sabbath.” Sabbath is a gift from God to us. Accept that gift by making time each week to worship and praise the Gift Giver. Practicing Sabbath feeds the soul.
Fran Saylor, pastor, Mizpah Moravian Church,
Rural Hall, North Carolina