Working on the Sabbath
Tomorrow is Easter, and I thought about stopping at the grocery store (the one I like by church) after church, instead of making a special trip today. Then I thought, even if it is open, do I want people to have to work on Easter? If I make it profitable, then it will likely be open next Easter. If no one shops on Easter, then it is more likely to decide to close for the day in the future.
As I was contemplating this, I thought of a conversation I had with a friend of mine. She was informed that going out to eat on Sunday was a sin, since it forced people to work on Sundays. We thought about this, as both of our families chose to go out after church as a ‘rest’ from cooking and dishes.
Here are some of the concerns we had:
1. Some non-Christians need the hours, and Sundays are a great way to make extra money while Dad is home watching the kids.
Our conclusion: By not going out to eat, you may be depriving a poorer family of an income. So if you do go out, make sure you tip well, and behave, since non-Christians know this is the ‘church-crowd’ they are serving.
2. Some Christians are told that they must be willing to work Sundays by their employers, so by going out on Sundays you encourage this.
Our conclusion: If you do go out on Sundays, never, ever, ever, look down on the person who cannot get the day off.
3. Many non-Christians use Sundays as a day to shop and get things done, so you will not succeed in closing down businesses just because you stay home.
Our conclusion: If there is a new believer where you work, and you are a seasoned church goer, offer to work Sunday so they can be ‘fed’ and be with the church family.
4. Some people have to work, and it is Biblical that they do so. Fireman, police officers, Emergency Room personnel all have responsibilities that do not cease just because it is Sunday.
Our conclusion: For anyone who for any reason needs to work on Sunday, even if it is just to feed their family (and they feel this is what God would want them to do), other options should be available. Host a Bible study or small group so they do not miss out on hearing the Word of God and church fellowship every week.
Now we did not reach an absolute conclusion on this subject. Like many of our conversations, our conclusion, in this imperfect world, was less than perfect, and we laughed at the idea of calling a restaurant and asking, ‘Do you have pagan servers working?’ as a way to bless those who do not know God, while ensuring those who do have the day off…
Photo by Matija Barrett