My Pointe of View

My thoughts on God, Life, and Dance

Lessons From the Holy Land: Remember the Sabbath

Written By: jamieu - Nov• 25•13

Thanksgiving is only a few days away and people have already begun lining up in front of the retail store of their choice, making sure to secure their chances of getting the latest and greatest “whatever” at the best price in town. Retailers such as Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Sears, Target, Old Navy, OfficeMax, JC Penny, and Staples are a few stores that will be open on Thanksgiving Day. Many malls around the country will also be open on the holiday. The manager of a mall in New Jersey defended this decision stating, “Extended holiday hours are designed to meet customer needs and reflect changing consumer behavior.”

What is wrong with our nation? It makes me sick that we cannot take ONE day off! I know that Thanksgiving is not a religious holiday, but it is a day set aside to be with our loved ones, to reflect on all that we have to be thankful for, to play board games, toss around the football, and eat some amazing food! In our profit-obsessed, shopping-addicted, restless nation, Thanksgiving is quickly becoming a speed bump on the retail freeway. Why stop? If you open they will come…

One of the things that stood out to me in a big way when I was in Jerusalem was the observance of the Sabbath or Shabbat. On Friday afternoon all stores and places of business begin to close and remain closed until sundown Saturday evening. People come home to their families and share a meal together, they pray and attend services. The TV is off, meals have been prepared in advance so that no work is needed in the kitchen, and they rest. There is no concern for the money that is being lost because stores are not open. They choose to take God at His word. “Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.” This is actually the fourth commandment in the 10 commandments…a pretty important list.

I am not condemning shopping or amazing deals, I am simply concerned with the state of mind that seems to have permeated America: time is money, rest is wasteful, everything should be convenient. God knows the importance of rest. That is why He commanded us to do it. Without it we burn out and lose sight of Him. I was challenged to examine my own life in this area while I was in Israel, and I pass that challenge on to you. The world will not fall to pieces if we choose to take a day and put the work aside. In fact it might just get a little better.

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