Saturday, January 02, 2010

Link: Work and Rest

As the longtime Christians of our readership know, one thing about life in the Kingdom that we sometimes have a hard time figuring out how to deal with is the idea of the sabbath - stereotyped as a rule about not working on Sundays (or at least picking one day of the week not to), held by some to be obsolete, others to be vital. It's a question to which I've had a hard time finding satisfying answers. The Bible verses I heard in Alfred as evidence for the sabbath requirement having been made more or less optional were explained differently by the writers of my NIV study Bible, who seemed to point to a "still necessary" interpretation but were silent about how it should work. Meanwhile, way over in the "bring back the blue laws and don't talk about soccer on Sundays" camp was as well-known a preacher as Alistair Begg. The church I grew up in and the one I'm at now, by contrast, seemed to fall somewhere in the middle on everything. My own prayer and experimentation seemed to point to my needing a weekly sabbath, so for about a year now I've been committed to taking it (though I may have to rethink how I do it now that my work schedules are shifting), but I still haven't been sure about what the best way is to do it or whether it's really supposed to be universal.

So this morning I tried out Timothy Keller's sermon on the topic - he's the pastor of a church in New York City and the author of The Reason for God, which is basically an updated Mere Christianity-meets-The Case for Christ. In short, he's a good, smart, truth-conveying pastor guy, and though I've read The Reason for God (which I think is excellent - please read it yourself; not everything he says will be new to you, but even what isn't will be well said), this's the first of his sermons I've ever heard.

And you know what? It's the first sermon about the sabbath that's actually made me start to feel restful inside about the subject. So whether you're like me and have heard a lot of conflicting opinions, or whether you've made your decision already but are curious about what he has to say, give it a shot at It's long, but worth it. I'll probably mull it over a little more as time goes by, and maybe there'll be parts I'm still not sure about. For now, though, I feel much the better for having heard it.

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