Chapter-a-Day Nehemiah 13

Ahhhhh sabbath. Then I directed the Levites to ceremonially cleanse themselves and take over as guards at the gates to keep the sanctity of the Sabbath day. Nehemiah 13:22 (MSG)

I live in a peaceful little town. Every small town has its' quirks. One of the quirky things about my town is that it has historically valued Sunday as the Sabbath, the day of rest. To this day, most businesses do not open. People generally don't mow their lawns or do anything that might make excessive noise to disturb their neighbors. Families go to church. They have dinner together. They take naps. You know what? I like it. Sundays are peaceful. Sundays recharge my spiritual, emotional and physical batteries. That was God's idea when he instituted the whole Sabbath idea.

However, when God principles are policed we easily lose our perspective. When you have to make rules to keep principles (e.g. "You can go outside and play catch with the ball, but if you organize a game you're breaking the Sabbath" because organizing a game is technically work") you quickly stop seeing the forest for the trees. Even Jesus ran into trouble with Sabbath cops.

Slow down. Rest. Take a day to relax. But, remember: working hard at keeping the Sabbath sort of defeats the purpose.

Creative Commons photo courtesy of Flickr and Virginia Zuluaga

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