I believe the 4th Commandment (Ex. 20) continues for the Christian and I believe that the Sabbath/Lord's Day is a delight (Is 58). I will not defend the Confessional view of the Moral law here. However, our church family is going through a series of sermons on the 10 Commandments, and I am preaching through the Moral law of God and tracing it throughout the Scriptures. I have come to love the rhythm the Lord has given His people of 1 in 7. My purpose in this blog is to give some suggestions for the Sabbath. I am not preaching these suggestions in sermons, for my sermonic focus is to preach the text and encourage people to consider how each of the 10 Commandments is a guide for the Christian in their own joyful obedience to the only law-keeper, Jesus Christ. I don't want to preach my suggestions. However, here, I will give some suggestions (not commands) on how the day can truly be a delight for the believer:
*Consider with joy that this is a day to joyfully attend the ordinary means of grace (Word, Prayer and Sacrament)
*Consider using the non-church times to catch up on your reading of spiritual variety (Scripture, Psalms, Christian Biography, Theology)
*Consider your preparation for Sunday (how can I work Monday-Saturday to make sure Sunday is set apart?)
*Consider making an item on your prayer list the other six days that of spiritual preparation for the Lord's Day.
*Consider discussions with your children about how the Lord's Day is special.
*Consider making it a regular day for hospitality--having brothers and sisters in Christ, as well as the lost into your house for Lunch or dinner on that day.
*Consider a family bike ride, giving your children the assignment to find something in nature that God created and talk about its beauty and what that teaches about God.
*Consider what acts of mercy you could be involved in on that day (remember, Sabbath was a day given for mercy by Jesus).
*Consider intentionally making sure your meal conversations are set apart for discussions of the Lord in and out of conversation.
*Consider making a family catechism game. Our family does this often--we use a catechism and ask fun little "game show" questions (fake buzzers and all) to delight in learning doctrine.
*Consider "daddy talks" (or mommy talks). Pull each of you children aside one on one and talk about the gospel, their week, how to interpret things they've experienced biblically.
*Consider opening a bottle of wine, and sharing it with a few friends on the front porch and talking about God's goodness.
*Consider turning off TV and letting your Sunday evenings revolve around Christian resources.
*Consider doing house projects another day so that when you see something on Sunday that needs to be done, you are psychologically reminded, "this will have to wait".
*Consider writing cards to elderly saints, shut-ins, lost friends and family members...or sending text messages to persons you didn't see at church.
*Consider a rhythm of eating meals in homes vs. restaurants to the best you can, in order to cause you own mind to think about Sabbath as a creation mandate, which is good for the entire world, not just believers.
*Consider having a spiritual check in with your spouse once the kids are in bed.
*Consider taking a meal to another family, just doubling the portion your family made for lunch.
*Consider using the day to be intentional in gospel conversations with your neighbors.
*Consider...(what would you add...?)
As you can see, the possibilities for sanctifying the day are endless. And, I am not saying these are "rules". You see, the Lord's Day is the Christian Sabbath, and it is a day where we have endless opportunities for delight as we rearrange our day unto the Lord. The 4th Commandment is not scary...oh friend, it is a delight.