Taken literally, and biblically, “the seventh day” refers to Sunday and “rest” means doing no work.
“For six days work is to be done, but the seventh day is a day of sabbath rest, holy to the LORD. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day is to be put to death.” ~ Exodus 31:15
Let’s face it though. Unless one takes the Bible literally, life in the 21st century is not conducive to complete and total rest on Sundays, no matter how much one wants to keep it sacrosanct.
Many people work jobs that require them to be available on Sundays. Or, their work schedule may include Saturday and Sunday as work days and they get Wednesday and Thursday off instead. For these people, Thursday would be their Sunday.
Others may not work for money on Sundays, but must use that day (in fact, the entire weekend) to take care of family and household tasks that could not be addressed during their standard work week.
With luck and perseverance, Sunday can be kept the Sabbath in the morning by attending church or some other form of religious worship and then by enjoying brunch with the family afterward.
The concept of “rest” can be subjective, particularly if we view it only as the opposite of work.
- A bodily state characterized by minimal functional and metabolic activities
- Freedom from activity or labor
- A place for resting or lodging
- A peace of mind or spirit
- A rhythmic silence in music
- Something used for support
Definition # 4 – “a peace of mind or spirit” -has nothing to do with the physical aspect of rest. It has more to do with what activities afford you peace of mind and lead your spirit to be free.
Furthermore, as God has created us all to be unique, each one of us would then have a unique idea and need, which when pursued would lead to our peace and freedom.
What gives you peace…rest…freedom?
And, for the moment, let’s not think about whether that activity is done on a Sunday or a Friday.
Some of the things that allow me to rest (and not necessarily in any particular order) :
- waking up in the morning next to my man and no burden of alarm clocks or deadlines
- a big breakfast (even better if it is served to me in bed) and endless coffee
- watching a movie of my choice
- holding hands
Many people might view my idea of rest at least where running and cycling are concerned, as a chore. They might look at my list and say that writing is a chore too.
Every person will have his own ideas, probably quite diverse from these, about what provides rest. Regardless of the physical activity level of any of those activities, if the activity gives peace in mind, body, and soul, it is, by definition, restful.
No matter what day of the Lord’s 7 day week you engage in activities that bring you rest, the fact is that you do these things. Of course, it would be even better if it was on a Sunday and you could fit in as many of them as possible.
The bottom line: work hard so you can rest hard.
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