Sundays & School Zones

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work." -Exodus 20:8-9

Nobody likes driving through school zones. Well, at least I don’t. Watching my speedometer fall from 40 to 20 MPH each morning during my commute is a painful experience — especially when there are no children around to justify the slowdown! I keep a close eye on my speedometer as I drive through, not so much because I’m concerned about going over the speed limit, but because I want to go as fast as I legally can. Once I’m finally past the “end school zone” sign, I quickly accelerate back to normal speed and continue on my way to work.

The problem with this mentality is that I miss the whole point of the law. School zones don’t exist just to annoy impatient drivers like me, but to protect the lives and safety of children. I might obey the letter of the law by driving the speed limit, but I ignore its intent every time I pay more attention to the speedometer than my surroundings. Even when there aren’t any children in sight, I have to admit that my view from the windshield is limited; I could be missing something.

Sadly, too many believers view the fourth commandment from a similar perspective. They hate slowing down long enough to take their family to church and enjoy a day of rest, as if Sundays are nothing more than a weekly test of Christian allegiance. Oftentimes no real danger seems visible from the windshield of human perspective, and so we gauge our obedience by the letter of the law while maximizing every allowance it makes. Unfortunately, “We miss the intent of God’s Word when we read His rules for living without trying to understand why He made them” (LASB).

As Christ reminds us in Mark 2:27, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.” Rather than debating to what extent New Testament saints are obligated to observe a weekly day of rest, the best response is to trust that the One Who commanded it did so in wisdom and love with our best interests in mind. When we realize this we’ll begin to view Sunday as a blessing, not a burden.


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