"Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy." Exodus 20: 8 (KJV)
We memorized these words as children. It is the fourth of the Ten Commandments. While the Jews observed their Sabbath on Saturday, the seventh day, Christians celebrated a sabbath principle on Sunday which is often referred to as the Lord's Day.
In recent years many no longer observe this commandment in any shape or form. Choirs for ages three through high school presented a program called "Songs of the Season" at our church yesterday. One of the parents came in Sunday morning. His daughter's soccer practice had been moved from two to four until five to seven. The choirs were meeting in the five o'clock hour for their normal rehearsal. The performance was at six. He was trying to figure out just how long his daughter could stay at soccer. It was clear the parent considered soccer more important than the rehearsal time.
When I was growing up, the parent would have told the daughter that she was going to church and not to soccer. Of course, the soccer coaches in the 1970s, if soccer was even played in our area then, would not have scheduled a practice during what was certain to be a conflict with church services.
It made me reflect on what we are communicating to today's children. Are we showing them the importance and priority of God in their lives when we won't prioritize Him over secular activities?
I work at a Christian university which has also quit observing the Sabbath principle. Facilities such as the library which once were shuttered on Sunday are now open, even during times where church services are being held. This same institution wants its employees to be involved in church activities and leadership, yet they make it difficult for employees who must work to keep these facilities open to do so. Are we teaching students the importance and priority of worship? Are we teaching them the principle of a Sabbath rest?
It is time for Christians to rethink their priorities in the light of Biblical teaching. We need a few more parents standing up to tell their kids coaches that their sons and daughters will be at church. We need a few more Christian employers to follow the lead of Chick-Fil-A and Hobby Lobby by being closed on Sunday. We need to spend more time with family and in worship of a truly awesome God.