Friday, September 2, 2016
THE 24/7 WORK WEEK
Here, Jesus was answering the Priests inquiry as to why He let His followers gather grain to eat on the Sabbath. He quite simply declared that the Sabbath was not a chain, but a blessing for all. It gave people the right to rest, for at least one day every week.
The people He included in this statement where not just the upper crust, but it did include the upper crust. And it went all the way down to the lowliest of slaves. God's commandment to keep the Sabbath was to insure that all people and animals would get a day of rest each week. For the Israelites the day was set—Saturday, the seventh day.
As the faith grew around the world and as Christ came and lived and died and rose again for us, believers began to celebrate Sunday, the first day of the week, as a day of rest in honor of His resurrection. There is a lot of debate a this, but the thing that really matters is that we take a day of rest every week.
There was a time in this country when businesses were closed and farmers did only the absolute necessities to care for their animals and then they also rested.
Now, of course, nearly all service businesses are open seven days a week, but most give their workers at least one day a week off, and most have been forced to give two days a week off; plus Holidays, and these holidays have been adjusted to be on Monday, creating a three day weekend almost every month.
All of that is to say, that we have been given more time off than seems right. But it does not stop there; especially if you count sick days, personal days, and vacation days. WOW. Talk about overkill!!
And yet, there are workers who do not get all of these privileged days off: It is those who work hard so that they can work even more; and they are primarily those who wish to move up the ladder, higher and higher. It also includes those who work for themselves and want to push themselves into what is considered successful in our society. And it includes those who are working for commissions, and pay taxes as an individual contractor. There are millions of these in this country. It also includes those who work two jobs that overlap and keep them working 7 days a week.
This is a sickness that invades our society so badly that homes are wrecked, stresses rise, and bodies fail; all because people are not taking a day of rest—at least one day of rest—each week.
We call this the “rat race” trying to be cute about it ; but mice can die of “body failure,” too, if they get too stressed out.
God gave us a clue and Jesus reiterated that clue: TAKE A DAY OF REST FROM YOUR WORK EVERY WEEK. Spend time with your family or friends and relax. Shut off your work computer; shut down your work phone; take time to breathe. The world will not end because you do that; but you might end because you did not.