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April 24, 2012

Chicken Nuggets and the Sabbath

Download the Kyria ebook, Sabbath Rest in a World of Stress, in the Nook, Kindle, or Kyria stores.

I realized I was taking the fourth commandment a little too lightly when I found myself rolling my eyes and muttering under my breath, “What’s Chick-fil-a’s problem?!”

It was Sunday, after church, and our family was grabbing a bite to eat at a local Mexican restaurant. We were sitting outside, trying to enjoy the sunshine, but Chick-fil-a was looming large right in front of us—literally across the street.

“Mom, I really, really, really want Chick-fil-a!” (Can you hear the high-pitched whining?)

“I love Chick-fil-a. Why can’t we go there?!” (Can you hear it yet? Add to your mental image: crossed arms, bottom lips stuck out.)

“Chick-fil-a is closed on Sundays,” I pronounced. “So just eat your quesadilla and stop whining, okay?”

“But why, Mom? Why are they closed?”

A store being closed one day a week is incomprehensible to my kids, especially when every other store and restaurant in our city seems to be open and bustling with business. It’s bold and countercultural of them to stand by their closed-on-Sundays commitment, though Chick-fil-a founder Truett Cathy says this policy is the best business decision he ever made. It’s a profound way for the company to honor their employees, allowing their workers a sacred day “for family, worship, fellowship, or rest.” Chick-fil-a’s darkened restaurant windows stand out and proclaim: Today something else is more important than commerce.

The reality is that many of us don’t take the fourth commandment seriously; compared to the way we seek to keep the other nine commandments, you’d think the fourth was written with an asterisk next to it! (As in, *Don’t worry, you don’t really need to follow this one.—God.)

Author and theologian Dorothy Bass writes about her own similar sense of conviction as she began to realize, “Our approach to the Sabbath commandment was different [from our approach to the other commandments]. We had become so captivated by our work, so impressed by its demands on us and by our own sense of indispensability, that it had vanished from our consciousness.”

My own vanishing sense of Sabbath began with good reason. Having observed many stuffy, rule-keeping Christians who turned Sundays into a day of zero fun and church overload, I bristled at their rigid legalism. We don’t worship a stuffy God of rules and “no’s,” after all, but a God of love and grace! So I consciously rejected the Sabbath-keeping habits of the legalists. But unfortunately for me, and perhaps for you too, the Sabbath-baby has gotten thrown out with the legalistic bathwater!

So what are we to do with the Sabbath? How can our lives stand out and proclaim: Today something else is more important than commerce, busyness, my to-do list, or my kids’ extracurricular activities? And how can a proper understanding of Sabbath rest infiltrate and influence the way we live and work throughout the rest of the week?

You can explore these issues and many more in a special Kyria e-book, which includes:
• Insights on meaningful Sabbath habits and how to practice those habits in an attitude of grace.
• Suggestions for how you and your family can more deeply connect with God during your day of rest.
• Considerations on how you live the rest of the week—how the all too common breakneck pace of multitasking can actually do spiritual damage.

Download this Kyria e-book at the special introductory price of $2.99 in the Nook, Kindle, or Kyria stores. Browse more than 50 other Kyria e-books here.

How do you practice the Sabbath? How have you learned to rearrange your priorities to follow this commandment better? And if you haven’t, what’s keeping you from doing it?

Related Tags: ebook, ebooks, kindle, nook, rest, sabbath, store


This is such a wonderful post! We also have struggled with how to approach the Sabbath as a family beyond just attending church in the morning. Does it mean we don't mow the lawn, jump on the trampoline or write a blog post? ;-) What is the definition of "rest"? These are all questions we are wrestling with and praying over as we seek God's guidance in how we approach this day. I loved your "the Sabbath-baby has gotten thrown out with the legalistic bathwater"! LOL! That is so true, though and having come from a somewhat legalistic background myself I can totally relate. Thank you so much for sharing from your heart on this issue and giving me lots to think about! :-)

Yes, it's amazing how differently we approach the 4th commandment compared to the other 9. Yet God expects us to keep ALL of them to the same degree. We don't consider the second commandment about not taking the Name of the Lord in vain, to not apply when we're angry or hurt. Or "Thou shalt not steal" only to mean not breaking in to another's house!! So why do we disregard the 4th? Jesus said "If you love me, keep my commandments." Not "Keep most of them." And then there's the issue of the seventh day - why do we totally disregard this part of the fourth commandment? It does not say "Remember A day to keep holy." We are specifically commanded to keep the seventh day, not the first. I can't find anywhere in the Bible where we are told to honour the first day, or that the day of rest was changed from the seventh to the first day of the week.
"If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love" John 15:10

I'm from Holland. We don't mow the lawn, neither put on the computer for whatever. No telephone, no extracurriculair activities of the kids (we've 4). Legalistic? I don't think so. It's a day for God and our neighbour and its the best day of the week, absolutely! Esther

Esther, I love your suggestions. One book I've found a lot of profound Sabbath inspiration from (which is mentioned in this piece) is Receiving the Day by Dorothy Bass. It's really fantastic -- and she includes suggestions similar to yours. Thanks for sharing!

I thought the 4th commandment said to remember the seventh-day Sabbath....am I reading the wrong Bible?

When people question the Sabbath, they sometimes sound like the Jews (Pharisees) who also questioned Jesus and in this case, one of the men he healed. Jesus said that He AND His Father were "breaking" the Sabbath. Since Jesus did not sin, the things that He did were not illegal, and their idea of what God meant regarding the Sabbath originally was in error. The 10 commandments weren't given to Adam and Eve, they were given to Moses for the Jewish people in the Old Testament. We don't earn our salvation by obeying the commandments. John 5:24 says “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life." Praise God for this, as we all sin every day!

In Galatians chapter 4, from the verse 21 and on, it asks if we want to be children of the bondwoman or of the free woman? Those who go to heaven by faith and believing (the only way) are children of the free woman. In Hebrews chapter 11 it says that the people in the Old Testament were also saved by faith. And of course, Colossians 2:16-17 says "Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day— things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ."

According to John 5:9-11 "Now it was the Sabbath on that day. so the Jews were saying to the man who was cured, “It is the Sabbath, and it is not permissible for you to carry your pallet.” But he answered them, “He who made me well was the one who said to me, ‘Pick up your pallet and walk.’”

Read what Jesus says here in the following verses, He AND His Father were working on the Sabbath!: John 5:15-19 "The man went away, and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. For this reason the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because He was doing these things on the Sabbath. But He answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working. For this reason therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God. Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner".

While, I applaud you for taking time to discuss the Sabbath and all the blessings it can bring, and that we need to become more serious about it. I must encourage you to reflect on the day the Bible declares as the Sabbath. It has been and will always be the 7th day of the week, Saturday. It's not legalistic to do what the Bible says and keep Saturday as the Sabbath. God set the standard, we must abide by His word. God Bless you.

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