“‘Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.’” Exodus 20:8-11

I don’t keep the Sabbath.

It’s one of those commandments that doesn’t get a lot of play. When you ask people to name the Ten Commandments, they can usually get the big “Thou shalt nots” – Adultery. Lie. Murder. Steal. – you know, the ones most likely to impact them. People struggle to name “keep the Sabbath”. For starters, my day job requires me to work seven days a week. Even if it didn’t and I was a faithful keeper of the Sabbath, then I would certainly depend on a lot of other people not being particularly convicted by it. I can rest a lot easier knowing that police officers are still at work (because most criminals I know are great respecters of the Sabbath); and with my kids being accidents waiting to happen, I’m glad doctors still report to work on weekends. For that matter, I know that plenty of folks have rolled out of sermons, even ones on the importance of keeping the Sabbath, only to go out to eat – keeping their convictions at the expense of others. While at home, resting, I still need to be entertained. You don’t expect me to hang out with my family all day – football must be played. For that matter, I began writing this blog on Sunday.

In my mind, there’s always been this kind of divide between the Old and New Testaments. Like the Old Testament is about the harsh, judgmental God, while the New Testament is all about the loving God. The Bible has become seen as two different sets of promises made to two different groups of people or at least people wrestling within two different circumstances or paradigms.

Too often, we’ve reduced, misused, and missed the overarching point of the Old and New Testaments. Most teachings explaining the relationship between the Old and New Testaments present the Old Testament as all about the law, impossible to live up to, and, well, “bad” with the New Testament being all about grace, possible to achieve, and “good.” This leads to the practical application that the Old Testament is a lot of wasted ink and we should concentrate on the New Testament.

“One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.” Romans 14:5

The Bible is one story with two covenants. The Old Testament (Covenant) was the story of God saving the world through a specific people, the story of the nation of Israel. In Christ, we have the fulfillment of the story. The New Testament (Covenant) was the climax and conclusion, if you will, to that story. Jesus fulfills the story–without undermining the necessity and vitality of the Old Testament–bringing the story to its ultimate end. We are all adopted/grafted into the story of Israel. So what we have is essentially two acts of the same story.

If you press me on the topic, meaning, if you make me argue this using Scripture, I would say that Sabbath restrictions don’t apply to Gentiles. The Mosaic laws were about defining a people, a nation. That was their point and their focus. In Christ, we have freedom. I’d say that there is wisdom in taking a day to relax and not burn yourself out. God bless weekends. And, I’m glad that we have weekends to worship as we feel led. However, the Sabbath equals rest, and my rest is in Christ.

Hoosiers who favor keeping state laws that prevent most Sunday alcohol sales outnumber those who oppose the restrictions, according to a new poll. Fifty percent of those surveyed favored keeping the current laws, while 43 percent supported allowing more Sunday sales of beer, wine and liquor, according to a poll commissioned by The Indianapolis Star.

Pam Ingram, 49, from the southwestern Indiana town of Bloomfield, said she doesn’t see anything wrong with having one day without alcohol sales in stores. “I just don’t see a purpose for the sales,” said Ingram, who added that she does not consider herself anti-alcohol. “If you want it on Sunday, there are six other days you can get it.”

This is what got me started thinking on the topic of the Sabbath and how we go about “keeping” it. I understand and appreciate the sentiment of wanting to respect Sunday as a day of worship (though, apparently Jews and Seventh Day Adventists aren’t similarly respected); however, what does this accomplish? When all is said and done, I have to plan ahead to get my drink on. Seriously, this is a relic of a Puritanical time. If we are honest with ourselves, we’d acknowledge that this represented a day when one religion was privileged over another. Don’t put this on God or the Bible. Let me tell you, I’ve sat through many sermons where afterwards I really wanted a drink. Plus, I follow the party Savior: Jesus knew how to keep a party going (and it was wine: no matter how you twist the Greek, it cannot be rendered Welches Grape Juice). Buddha never turned water into wine.*

Plus, I may have to buy communion wine on short notice.

*I have it on good authority that Buddha was more of a beer guy.**

**I’m sure that I’m going to find out who actually reads these things to the end.

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