What Does It Mean To Keep A

Day Holy? Essay, Research Paper

To understand what it means to keep a day holy, one must understand what holy is. Dictionary.com defines holy as spiritually whole or sound; of unimpaired innocence and virtue; free from sinful affections; pure in heart; godly; pious; irreproachable; guiltless; acceptable to God. According to this definition to keep a day holy would be to make the day acceptable to God.

Making a day acceptable to God will unquestionably vary with religious beliefs.

For the Christian, Sunday is above all an Easter celebration, illumined by the glory of the Risen Christ. It is the festival of the “new creation”. Yet, when understood in depth, this aspect is inseparable from what the first pages of Scripture tell us of God?s plan in the creation of the world. If the first page of the Book of Genesis presents God’s “work” as an example for man, which it does, then the same must be true of God’s “rest.” ?On the seventh day God finished his work which he had done” (Genesis 2:2)

It would be clich?d to interpret God’s “rest” as a kind of “inactivity”. By its nature, the creative act, which founds the world, is unending and God is always at work, as Jesus himself declares in speaking of the Sabbath principle: “My Father is working still, and I am working” (John 5:17). The divine rest of the seventh day does not allude to an inactive God, but emphasizes the fullness of what has been accomplished. It speaks, as it were, of God’s lingering before the “very good” work.

The book of Exodus tells us that we need not cease all work to keep the lords day holy but only remember: “Remember the Sabbath day in order to keep it holy” (Exodus 20:8). Before commanding that something be done, the passage urges that something be remembered. It is a call to awaken remembrance of the grand and fundamental work of God, which is creation, a remembrance that must inspire the entire religious life of man and then fill the day on which man is called to rest. Rest therefore gains a sacred value: the faithful are called to rest not only as God rested, but to rest in the Lord, bringing the entire creation to him.

In so far as this “remembrance” is alive, full of thanksgiving and of the praise of God, human rest on the Lord’s Day takes on its full meaning. It is then that man enters the depths of God’s “rest” and can experience a quiver of the Creator’s joy when, after the creation, he saw that all he had made was very good. To keep the Lords day holy, according to Christian beliefs one must remember. Remember the creation, remember the rest, remember the Sabbath, remember the Lord.


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