December 6, 2009

It's Sunday: You Get the Day Off!

Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Work six days and do everything you need to do. But the seventh day is a Sabbath to God, your God. Don't do any work—not you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your servant, nor your maid, nor your animals, not even the foreign guest visiting in your town. For in six days God made Heaven, Earth, and sea, and everything in them; he rested on the seventh day. Therefore God blessed the Sabbath day; he set it apart as a holy day. - Exodus 20:8-11 (The Message)

I receive the Sabbath as a gift from God, a blessing I've learned to accept with deep gratitude.

For me, this means no legal work on Sundays.

Is this always easy? No. Are there Sundays when the gravity of my upcoming week looms urgently? Yes. Have I ever regretted deferring even the most pressing tasks until Monday morning? No.

I don't see the Sabbath as a legalistic thing. I'm not saying you should be wracked with guilt if you check your office email or ponder a case plan on a Sunday afternoon. I've done that a few times myself. In general though, I've learned not to go there, because it spoils the gift.

Honoring the Sabbath opens the day for worship, learning, serving, family, and just plain pausing to appreciate all God has done. God knows we need this. He tells us we need this. And he gives this to us.

I credit Sabbath-keeping in large part for a 22-year legal career in which I'm still relatively enthusiastic about the practice of law and looking forward to decades more. And I credit Sabbath-keeping in large part for my close relationships with God, my family, and my church family.

How do you embrace the gift of the Sabbath?

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