"The 4th commandment" LD38/Hebrews 4 & Leviticus 25:8ff
When we read this Lord's Day it seems like it does not answer our questions...and seems to "miss the point" completely. Like children we might like a list of things with some guidance. The problem, however, is legalism and the catechism always steeps us in the freedom of our Lord Jesus Christ. And although we thing the catechism misses it, we will see that we understand the core of it as Christians.
The idea of Sabbath (idea of rest) is a very beautiful idea. God entered into the 7th day and enjoyed all that He made. It brings us to the very beginning of creation and to the end in the revelations John speaks about in Revelations. The legalisms will fade when we understand it properly. God RESTED on the 7th day. The ideas we want to impose on the day of rest cannot contradict God. He did not get tired! God entered into the enjoyment of the things He had made (an activity) which will carry over to how we see the Sabbath. We will also, in heaven, NOT be tired, but continually praise! It does not mean idleness (though the body and soul we do balance with rest here below) as the Eternal God enjoyed those things He created and saw the RE-creation in the creation...these things in the light of the Eternal! And God took this concept and He RELISHED in it! And the Old Testament was a typical picture of rest....the land of Canaan as it pictured heaved against the bondage of Egypt. (When they did not enter in because of unbelief they did NOT take hold of Christ. And those that entered into the land of milk and honey lived in Heaven of which they owned and could NOT loose as the land went back to the original owners during Jubilee.) The Lord fulfilled the labors and enjoyed those labors @ the right hand of God! Principally each and every day we live as the Lord's day though we receive strength to live out of it here below...to live through the rest of the week. It is the beginning of Heaven! Christ living with us! The Sabbath day? Talk about Heaven!!!
How are we going to keep the rest of God as sojourners still in the flesh? This Lord's Day puts its finger on the heart and soul of it! The ministry of the Word. Church! Where the gospel of the Kingdom and Christ is proclaimed. The heart of the Lord's day is GOING TO CHURCH! And that Word of God leads us in a life that we live as we already belong to heaven...that eternal rest! It is maintaining preaching and teaching. You need those who FAITHFULLY teach that Gospel and divide it rightly! We use the sacraments, which speak to the incorporation into the Kingdom of Heaven, and whereby in out weakness are strengthened in a new and holy life! We also publically call on the name of God and seek His Kingdom! You step outside of the doors of church and you find out that it is NOT about the glory of the Lord! It is benevolence (Old Testament gleaning.) It is the responsibility of the Kingdom to take care of their own. And it entails that I rest from my evil works and begin again to live a life that resembles the eternal rest. The eternal life! We need all of the Lord's day to keep us strong.
So why would you cheat it? Shorten it? Use it or engage in things that have NOTHING or very little to do with the Glory of God?
It is only then that the Lord will feed you and bless you with the inheritance of Jacob!
What are you doing this Lord's day? Remember to keep the Sabbath day Holy!