TODAY’S FORECAST: Saddened
So today, I want to continue my discussion of the Ten Commandments; but before I do, I have to thank a fellow blogger, Hannah, who nominated me for the Liebster Award. The Liebster Award is an award granted to up-and-coming bloggers with fewer than 200 followers who deserve some recognition and support to keep on blogging. I thought this was extremely thoughtful and just the sort of encouragement I need to remember that people are being encouraged by what I write. So thank you Hannah for the recognition. Readers, please check out Hannah’s blog, Pocketful of Motherhood at the following link http://pocketfulofmotherhood.wordpress.com/. You won’t be sorry you did. Hannah’s blog has great crafts and recipes and stories of motherhood, family and faith. 🙂
Okay, so now that I’ve had the opportunity to express my gratitude to Hannah, I wanted to talk about the next commandment on my list which is:
Remember the sabbath and to keep it holy.
Back in the time of Moses, the Jewish sabbath or Shabbat was considered a day of rest with two primary purposes, one to recognize the day that God rested during creation and two, to show gratitude and respect for God’s deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt. There were very specific rules which applied to how and when sabbath was to be observed, some of which still are practiced in Judaism today. As Christians, the sabbath, more commonly known as the “Lord’s Day,” was preserved as a day of rest. Traditionally it was a day for families to spend quality time together in worship and then at home with each other in the absence of labor.
This is where we’re at today. On September 15, 2013, many Christian churches are participating in an event called National Back to Church Sunday. It has been no secret that church attendance in all denominations has been declining for several years. The intent of National Back to Church Sunday is to bring people back to the church through a national outreach program. If you go to the website http://backtochurch.com/ you can check out some of the details for yourself. One of the things that immediately caught my attention on the site was the outreach video they are encouraging participating churches to use entitled “Pastor’s Rap”. You can view the video below.
I guess while I personally agree with the fact that we need to get people back to church and provide them with resources to form lasting relationships with Jesus, I don’t know if I agree at all that this is the way to go about it. This video does nothing to promote the Gospel, but instead gives me the impression that we are luring people in with promises of entertainment, refreshment, comfort and no judgements. Nowhere in the video did I hear Jesus’ name even mentioned. You all remember Him, right? The central figure of our beliefs as Christians, the Savior of the world? You would think that maybe He might get a shout-out here, but alas, no. Perhaps it’s because there is no good rhyming word for “Jesus?” I can’t think of any good reason for Christ’s name to be overlooked so blatantly in a video trying to draw believers back to His church. And what’s with all the push for grabbing a beverage at the coffee counter? Maybe I’m just getting old, but nowhere do I remember God saying to Moses, “Tell the people to commit to a weekly sabbath and oh by the way, there will be coffee!” Shoot, even baptism has been reduced to a notion of a mere dip in the water here. Why don’t we just bring out the fruity drinks with umbrellas in them too and call it a pool party?!
No, when God commanded Moses to share this commandment with His people, I imagine it had something to do with them showing Him a little respect and giving them some time to check in and reflect on how they were faring as individuals in their faith. It was time set aside in praise and thanksgiving for all He had given them, not some self-serving free-for-all. Don’t get me wrong. I fully realize that society has changed just a tad bit from the days of Moses. As the mom of two young children, I can appreciate the need for relevancy and bringing Christ’s love to the people on their level. What I can’t do is a message that eliminates Him altogether. What good does it do for us to increase the number of people coming through the church doors if they don’t care about knowing Jesus?
To me, remembering the sabbath and keeping it holy means recognizing who and what it is about and committing the time to reflect on both. We may have lost site of the concepts of “Sunday dinner” and “out for a Sunday drive,” but if we lose Jesus, we’re just lost — period. No amount of singing, dancing or coffee is going to come with a redemption guarantee without Jesus in the mix. You can bet yo’ life on it!