13 January 2010
Sabbath... Sunday.... Saturday... help!?
I pondered this question and my usual answer again this evening as I looked through these photos of our trip to Adelaide last year. What a great time we had. You can see them on Bob Photos
One of the ones that made me smile was this one of Stacey, the young woman who led the service (SDA folks title her role 'hostess') that morning in May 2009. She did a great job that morning.
Back in Washington, DC, where I worked for 7 years in the 90s, I first found the SDA denomination. Seventh-day Adventists and one of its leaders Cliff Goldstein. Here's the link for Cliff's wikipedia information, Goldstein
So I was challenged to read and did read a lot.
All the while I ran all this information through the grid of the Bible and my own experience and my background as an Orthodox Jew.
Then I kept finding people who could never settle into a church, and packaged their frustrations and mis-trust of churches in the wrapping of Sabbath observance.
So when and how do we worship? And what day is the right day to observe/ keep/ follow the Sabbath?
The reality is Saturday is the Sabbath. Even the latin 'Sabbatum' translates to the Spanish 'Sabado' (the word for Saturday!). That's not the real question is it?
The real question is how do people observe it and why? What's the motivation? If our answer is God wants me to take a day off; He loves me and wants me to rest once a week, then you are on the right track. If your answer is God requires me to do it, and if I do it then he will reward me with x or y, then you are missing it. If you say that it's required because Y'shua said, if you love me you will keep my commandments, and leave it there, then there's something missing.
If you are trying to earn points with God, you will only fail and that's not what Sabbath is about.
Sabbath is made for man, not man for the Sabbath. (Mark 2.27)
I cannot find any verse in the Bible where both worship and rest(sabbath) are used. Not one in the same verse. Did I miss anything? Then why do we say Sabbath is the day of worship?
Point gathering is not what Sabbath or any Torah observance is about. Keep your eyes on Y'shua, not on any other prize. Love God; love your neighbour. And that means those who don't observe the same day, or who think a different way about Sabbath at all. Read Romans 14 and believe it.
"Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and stand he will, for the Lord is able to make him stand. One man regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Let each man be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord, and he who eats, does so for the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who eats not, for the Lord he does not eat, and gives thanks to God." (14.4-6)
The key phrase is 'for the Lord.' Do what you do unto the Lord. Don't do what you don't do, because of what you believe God wants. And don't lay your trip on another.
Moishe Rosen taught me to ask SDA folks and others who asked me about my own Sabbath observance the following: There are two kinds of SDA; which are you? Those who believe in Jesus and those who believe in the Sabbath. Stacey quickly answered that she believed in Jesus.
I guess that's what I liked in Adelaide that day in November 2008. And still appreciate about so many SDA and other folks.
Get your priorities and motivations right, and everything else falls into place.