Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labour 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 male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns.(Exodus 20:8-10 NIV)
As you know as a pastor, Sunday is not my Sabbath. Sunday is the busiest day of the week for a pastor. It is not only the Sunday worship gathering where a message is presented. It is also a time of visitation after it. Sometimes I go home on Sundays quite exhausted after the morning’s events. If Sunday is not a Sabbath for the pastor, then when is the the Sabbath for the pastor? Most pastors usually take a day off in the week. For me, I take Mondays off. I do not look at emails at all on Mondays and as far as possible try not to think about church life. I try to rest and remember God on Mondays.
In this complicated work life we have today, Sundays cannot be Sabbath for Christians who work in certain professions. For example, nurses and fire-fighters need to be scheduled on Sundays depending on the shift they take. I know of people who do graveyard shifts and have to be at work at 8 pm on Sundays. Therefore they try to catch up on their sleep on Sunday mornings just to maintain their sanity. Whatever they do, they should take a day off during the week to rest and remember the Lord. They can do their laundry when they do this. Therefore we need to move away from an attitude that says that Sabbath can only be observed on Sundays. For nurses and firefighters who need to be scheduled on Sunday mornings sometimes, a perfect balance will be to schedule a small group Bible study on the day they have off during the week. For me church happens on Sunday mornings and at small groups. As Jesus says, “for where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them” (Matthew 18:20 NIV)