For as far back as I can remember, Sundays have always taken on a restless, sepia toned quality. The world seems to slow down for time and I enter into a hypnotic stage of yearning possibilities, daydreams, and illusions of grandeur. For many of us, Sundays are a time for introspection, reflection, and new beginnings.
The Christian world is divided on what day to keep the Christian Sabbath, and it’s not an argument I find worthwhile to perpetuate. In my view, Jesus laid the argument to rest when he said, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” (Mark 2:27) Jesus also foreknew the Sabbath would be divisive: “Therefore let no one judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a festival, a New Moon, or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the body that casts it belongs to Christ.” (Col. 2:17)
Regardless of what day you observe the Sabbath, it is a holy day God made for man to rest and to observe and meditate on Him. It is supernatural in that God finished His creation work in six days and ordained and hallowed the seventh day for rest.
What I find interesting about these Sunday qualities that overlay my day is that they can’t be contrived by my own machinations or bidden to leave. They seem to have a wholly self-imposed quality that is not controllable by mind, matter, or man. And these same Sunday qualities affect non-believers as well. So what, exactly, is this Sabbath rest with its mysterious, supernatural qualities?
You can hear the tick of a clock in a quiet house, you walk outdoors and feel the wind ruffle your hair. A bird soars overhead in the distance and somewhere far away, you hear a dog bark. You notice. The landscape is quiet. The mind is busy, not stressed.
And despite that in our modern, secular age most commerce and trade continues on Sundays, people can’t shake off that Sunday feeling. Those that attend church, will often go enjoy a meal with family and friends after a service and then—nothing. The world goes quiet. A psychological phenomena pecks at our minds like a chicken in the dirt. It’s the Sabbath.
Near the end of each Sunday, the supernatural veil begins to lift and a blueness sets in that appears to taint most Americans. It’s even been dubbed the Sunday night blues by psychologists. You begin to feel uptight thinking of the work week ahead. The drudgery of life and long commutes. According to an article in the Huffington Post, “The phenomenon is a real one — 78 percent of respondents in a recent international Monster.com poll reported experiencing the so-called “Sunday Night Blues.” And a whopping 47 percent said they get it “really bad.” In the U.S., that number jumps to 59 percent.”
The world may call it having the blues, but Sundays are necessary for our survival. As humans, we crave meaning and connection in our everyday race for survival. Introspection is necessary for us to thrive. God’s Sabbath is hallowed, blessed, and sanctified, or set apart. There is nothing man can do or any amount of busyness that will change what God ordained: “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shall you labor, and do all your work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD your God: in it you shall not do any work, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger that is within your gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: why the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.” (Exodus 20:8-11)
The Sabbath is mystical because it is connected to eternal life—a shadow of what is to come and is a precious gift to man. “Now if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. For whoever enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from His.…” (Heb. 4:9)
Life is a great mystery to humankind and it is in our nature to try to solve the puzzle. God planted eternity in the hearts of man in order that we might seek Him. “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” (Ecc. 3:11)
It is on God’s Sabbath that our hearts reflect on eternity, the meaning of our lives, God, and all of creation. Sunday is a gift from a God who desires that we enter into His rest, both here on earth and in eternity. So roll in the sheets a little longer and linger over the visages of your pets, your mate, your children, or the coffee swirling in your cup, and dream a little dream.