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Eric’s Sunday Sermon; Let Us Talk About Sunday and The Sabbath

Updated on August 16, 2015

Maybe every sunset is your Sabbath?

To set aside. Not our riches, but our time for ourselves.
To set aside. Not our riches, but our time for ourselves. | Source

Not just a day

Let us start off with a really amazing statement: "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath" (Mk 2:27). That concept can launch a thousand fruitful discussions and so it will launch this “Sunday” sermon. Let us get one thing out of the way right here and right now at the outset. Sunday and Sabbath are not synonymous. Sunday is quite truly just another day of the week. Sabbath for those of you wondering is: a day of spiritual reflection and abstinence from your job, kept by Jewish people from Friday evening to Saturday evening, and traditionally by Christians on Sunday. Did you know that North Koreans take Sunday off. China takes Sunday off. Apparently all communist countries take a day off on Sunday. So we hope that that dispels any notion that Sunday and the Sabbath are the same.

Back to the amazing that the Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath. How extraordinary. This encapsulates the notion that man is being served by God. That is an amazing concept. It is a perfect place of confluence for the agnostic and the lapsed Catholic to find wonderful agreement. If there is a God then the Godliest attribute would be to serve mankind. Not this wild and wooly notion that God is like a man with vengeance and a large lightning bolt at the ready to incinerate any poor soul that goes astray. The appropriate and timeless revelation that God does what God does in order to serve man is a game changer. The idea of a Sabbath made for man is a key to unlocking a door into a viewing room where all matters are seen in perspective and through the concept of servitude and love. Who would have thought that the Sabbath idea was such a cornerstone for God setting the example of how to live.

Kind of a piano bar lounge rendition. The pics are great. Maybe a good song to sing in the shower.

Maybe just a time to hold hands and count blessings

They call that water Pacific
They call that water Pacific | Source

Let us keep the focus

You see it is all about us and yet not about us at all. We are shown the compassion and mercy in order that we may show the compassion and mercy. We are given a day of rest so that we may give others a day of rest. This whole peek into a Godly love starts out, biblically that is, with a most unlikely scenario. The story goes that God worked hard to build our world including us. Then he was tired and took a day of rest. Now just think about that for a second and we have two take aways. First God would not get tired. Come on now He is God. So they are not talking about “tired” and “rest” like we do on Friday night. There is a tired that one must know. It is not a pooped out kind of tired. It is not a bone weary feeling. It is not “all stressed out”. It is closer, yet not exactly the same, as when we say we are tired of playing this game and want to play another. Not a boredom, but rather an emotional segue, into doing the next indicated thing that we look forward to doing. Not because we are worn out by the current activity but rather that we want to move on to the next more enjoyable activity. And second that rest is not synonymous with potato couching it all drunk on Sunday afternoon. Rest in this sense is more akin to rejuvenation through reflection and peace of mind. It is not a rest from productivity but rather a redirection of productivity towards personal well being.

Here is a fun one for you. I like to hang out on Sunday all week long. I do not mean by that that I am not working, but rather that I bring some Sunday with me that accompanies me through my week. Around here we lean a little too far in the direction of spirituality and less in the direction of material productivity. Of course not the better half around here, otherwise how would we find time and resources to preach? Does Sunday take care of humans as it is supposed to? I do not think so.

Let us talk religion and tradition. Spouse says: “are you going to church today honey?” And is consternated and visually upset over the equivocal response. Family gathers for a large cooked Sunday breakfast every week no matter what. No air conditioning and it is 88 at 8am – breakfast is still cooked and kitchen is 101 degrees by 9am. But by golly they had their ding dong meal. It should be somewhat obvious by looking at these two situations. The one spouse actually spends 3 hours in reading and studying scripture, meditation and prayer and then writing out thoughts on his restful time in reflection and communion with his God. But avoids traffic, dress up and socialness of church. Most of the family is forced to go out into the world seeking refuge from the heat instead of finding refuge in their own home. Tradition and religion can in fact be placed above our concept of rest on Sunday.

There is something eerily haunting about this performance. I do not know this fellow but he sure can bellow!

My elder son sure can draw my youngest son.

This little Vietnamese American boy is called My San by his Vietnamese family. Roughly it means American Saint.
This little Vietnamese American boy is called My San by his Vietnamese family. Roughly it means American Saint. | Source

We are so blessed.

We take a brief step back and look at the amazing statement. The translation is not about humankind, mankind or society or a church or even a family. The translation is for an individual man. “made for man”. So the Sabbath was not made for society, traditions or religions but for a man to rest. It is not easy to divine wisdom in these matters. We look and Mary and Martha and that whole deal about cooking and preparing verses “hanging out with Jesus on Sunday”. We have got to walk that line between getting done to earthly business and raising up to heavenly business. There are no easy answers but what I said earlier stands, “Does Sunday take care of humans as it is supposed to? I do not think so.”

Eric’s Sunday Sermons are not in the business of telling you what to do. We are not in the business of business at all. And we sure as heck are not in the business of directing your conduct or life. We share our own experience, strength and hope. We assume that we have more time to sit around thinking about this stuff than you do. Our only qualifications for preaching this stuff is that we do. (Although please “pay” attention to the offering plate as it circulates ;-) So we go out on a limb here with no credentials other than our love. We direct you to take more of a Sunday and more Sundays. More specifically we insist and demand that you take a Sabbath as often as you can.

And we circle once more back to the scenario where the amazing statement was made. This Son of God guy, Jesus, ministerially loved somebody on the Sabbath. In this case His love was made manifest via a healing of a physical ailment. That really ticked off some dudes that made a living by forcing people into their own houses of worship and then telling them how to act. In short they were telling people just how to rest on Sabbath and threatening that if they did not do it their certain way that hell on earth would befall the sinner, along with a hell for ever after. Jesus let them know that the idea of resting was a gift. (also check out Luke 14) If I were to show you how to rest, or if I were to command you how to rest, what would be the difference? If you are reading this sermon, you are going to darn well rest the way you decide no matter how I communicate it. Maybe more resistance with an order, maybe not. So let me just relate what I will do to rest on Sunday. Shucks, I already did, I wrote this sermon.

How about you?

Would you like to change your day off to Monday?

See results

Count your blessings

In researching for this article it was found that many communists are required to pay some sort of homage to their leader on their holidays. Wow, what would it have been like to be forced to go pray to God on certain days - or else. Certain folks in certain churches know just what I am talking about. We sure have a lot to be thankful for.

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    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Lawrence, it is just great to hear of good stuff. I think I would thoroughly enjoy your kind of Sunday. I can feel the love through your words.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      We do that every Sunday morning! We also try and catch David Jeremiah on TV (We have a Christian TV station here).

      Yesterday we went to see the movie "War Room" a great movie we all thoroughly enjoyed.

      As for the rest, amen to that!

      Lawrence

      By the way my daughter has a special word (I won't say it as most might think she's being insulting) that she reserves for only two, me and the Brit Top Gear presenters that describes some of the fun we get up to!

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Lawrence,

      Thank you for adding such a pleasant insight onto this hub. Do me one favor this next family time of yours. Get all goofy and play some Gospel and sing along. A family singing praise songs is just about the best church I ever did attend. Church is indeed that place where love resides.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Sorry Eric.

      Its been a while since we went to church on a Sunday!

      Fact is working a six day week means by Sunday I'm too tired to think about that. Long hours away means Sunday is our family day, don't get me wrong we both spend time in God's word and we meet with other believers but it's in the course of our daily lives and not at a 'special time'.

      I look at the Ten Commandments and see the first three are about God, the next two are about Family and the last five are about relating to others, I think that might be God's pattern for us!

      Blessings

      Lawrence

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I am glad this sermon finds you well Chitrongada. It is always nice to hear from you. I am sending you wishes of peace and prosperity.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 2 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Very interesting thoughts in this edition of Sunday sermon.

      I agree with your views about the day being "rejuvenation through reflection and peace of mind." After a productive week at work , we really need to rest and rejuvenate.

      "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath" --so true!

      Thanks for sharing this insightful hub!

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Mary, thank you for coming by and leaving a nice note. It seems like the best thing is to have a little of both Mary and Martha in us to keep balanced. How can we go wrong if we view it as a shared day, I like that.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      As always Eric you give us food for thought. BTW I am the Mary in Martha and Mary. While I love to cook, cleaning isn't my fondest activity and I'd rather sit and talk ;) Don't get that look of horror, I do clean, it's just not my favorite thing :)

      So, who's day is the Sabbath? Ours or God's? Is it a day we share to share in the glory of God?

      Again, well done my friend and a pleasure to read.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      What a cool way to start a day Ed. Thank you.

    • ahorseback profile image

      ahorseback 2 years ago

      One day my friend Eric will be rewarded for his extreme kindness to his fellow man even though he may forget that occasionally , ! Don't ever forget that sir !

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you much Frank. It is good of you to let me know your support.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      as always Eric you bring home the sermons with conviction.. moving visualization of day to day life if you ask me.. voted awesome :)

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Mel, flattery will get you everywhere around here. Those are very nice things to say to a withering old guy out here in the land of drought, fires and heatwaves. "God is Great" sure has a nice ring to it. I think the more we focus on that the better we become.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Ms. Dora it is cool to hear your practice. I pretty much follow that just out of habit. My elder children say it is just out of being old ;-) There must be something very organically healthy about it.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      This lapsed Catholic is blown away by your insightfulness. You slways introduce a topic I haven't really thought about but I wish I had. Jesus slways had a ready response for the churchy hypocrites. God is not a slave driver, but a marvelous Father who bestows wonderful gifts upon his creations. Remarkable words!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 2 years ago from The Caribbean

      Very interesting insights, Eric. I observe the Bible Sabbath like the Jews do, Friday sunset to Saturday sunset. You are so right about the day being "rejuvenation through reflection and peace of mind." After an honest week of labor, we really need to rest and rejuvenate. Again, you're right that at the heart of it is love--for God, for others, for ourselves. Helpful thoughts!

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      Go for it! :)

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Dana I did kind of question your comment. You are the student not the professor?

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Ann, I just loved Sundays in my little neck of the world -- nothin was open 'cept a gas station for travelers that was also the tack and feed, Soda Fountain and town meeting hall. We just had a "federated" church that basically served all protestant groups. Quiet reflective time just maybe included fishing.

      You gave me an idea for a Hub, a letter to stores about Sunday!

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Marlene, I think your attitude is the healthiest one to have. Somewhere there is a saying about seasons. Maybe Ecclesiastes 3 in the first part. Here we dealt with days specifically but the same will apply to seasons of life. I like the Sunday routine the best but that is just me, John has a different Sunday than us.

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 2 years ago from LOS ANGELES

      Eric- Thank you for your kind words.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Dana, Thank you for sharing that with us. Finding that balance is one of the toughest things in life. It is my thought that good folk like you letting simple folk like me know that you struggle with it also, is encouraging to us. Be well and take care.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      I used to love the rest and peacefulness of a Sunday - that was until they allowed shops to open and no one could keep away. Those who don't want to work on a Sunday are penalised and those who don't want to shop are often dragged along by another member of the family.

      I think I'm going to send a copy of this to every supermarket and department store I know!

      Lovely words as always, with your individual humour thrown in, Eric.

      Ann

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Word55, I am with you on that, although maybe for different reasons. It will be fun to get to know you and learn from you.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bill, when I was growing up we had "workends" instead of weekends. And we spent the time taking care of God's creation and working together on home matters as a family. I thank God for those days and all that hard rest!

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 2 years ago from Northern California, USA

      When I sold real estate full time, I would take my Sabbath on Wednesdays. Now that I am retired, I take my Sabbath on Sundays. I do believe in and enjoy the gift of rest and reflection. Life becomes more clear and purposeful when I accept that precious gift of rest.

    • word55 profile image

      Word 2 years ago from Chicago

      Hello Eric, my previous comment (2nd) was placed via cell phone mistakes in spelling. Anyway, In response to your comment, God's work (creation) started the 1st day of the week which was and still is on a Sunday. Some people just don't realize the rejuvenating benefit of the true Sabbath day unfortunately. I explained it all in one of my hubs. "Visit With Me..."

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 2 years ago from LOS ANGELES

      It is not a rest from productivity but rather a redirection of productivity towards personal well being) This verse really spoke to me. I was just telling a friend of mine that I have been busy seven days of the week. Between work, school, church and, trying to find things to write about has left me feeling a bit stressed. This past Saturday I went to a bonfire at the beach and I felt so guilty because I kept thinking about all the studying I could have been doing. Redirecting my productivity towards personal well being- is something I needed to hear. Voted up and useful, and definitely sharing. Have a blessed week!

    • profile image

      word55 2 years ago

      Hello Eric, In responses to your comment, God work (creaation) started the 1st day of the week which was and still is Sunday.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, as always, a day late and a dollar short. But I'm here now, loving the latest sermon.

      Day off????? What does that mean?

      Spent yesterday getting the urban farm ready for winter. I guess that could be considered doing God's work, since I was protecting our critters. Right?

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Word55, thank you for sharing such on point scripture. It would be my considered opinion that if we did our best with our current calendar situation we would follow the current Jewish tradition. Friday night to Saturday night. And then on Sunday we would attend our community of fellow worshipers. And I often think about the concepts of days of the week and a modern calendar. At first it was frustrating to me that we could not pinpoint days because it was not established which days were the beginning and which were the end. It would be cool to have an exact time and date of things like Jesus Christ's birth and death and resurrection. And it would be nice to know if God started at 9 am on Monday. But then I realize that such matters are not given us specifically because that is not at all the point.

      I once flew from L.A. to Hong Kong and literally missed a Sunday. It made me re-think.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      John, about the "Sunday" Sermon concept, it is complicated. And it makes me chuckle. I have these two folks in my life that really do not care what I try to schedule regarding my sermonizing. God sent me them as true blessings, to keep me from thinking that I run the show. I take it when I can get it. Thank you for always dropping in and letting me know you care.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Theresa, Thank you for your comment. It is really nice that we can communicate and share our thoughts on these important matters. We really need to be able to do that in a community we spend so much time with. We truly are blessed to have each other. And a special thanks for your unwavering support of all of us writers.

    • word55 profile image

      Word 2 years ago from Chicago

      There are at least 2 separate scriptures in the Old Testament that explains the significance of the Sabbath.

      Deuteronomy 5:12-15 New King James Version (NKJV)

      ‘Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you. 13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 14 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your ox, nor your donkey, nor any of your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates, that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you. 15 And remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out from there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the Lord your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day.

      Exodus 20:8-11 New King James Version (NKJV)

      8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.

      In the New Testament Jesus was Lord of the Sabbath. According to the Bible, the Sabbath day had never been changed since God declared it in Genesis specifically, which day was to be the Sabbath-day rest:

      Genesis 2:1-3 New King James Version (NKJV)

      2 Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. 2 And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      A wonderful hub Eric, and esson that we should make sure we accept God's gift of a day of rest. Living in the Southern Hemisphere I don't get your Sunday Sermon until Monday :) so maybe I need the day of rest changed to then, but in fact I accept my day of work whichever day I have free of other pressing matters. Good choice of music too. Voted up.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Yes, Dear Eric, we sure do have a lot to be thankful for indeed! I have been resting since Friday night and loved every minute of it to have time to "Rest in this sense is more akin to rejuvenation through reflection and peace of mind. It is not a rest from productivity but rather a redirection of productivity towards personal well being." You expressed it so well here.

      I love that drawing of your youngest so by your oldest son ...precious.

      Praise the Lord God for our many blessings and I praise Him for you too.

      Peace, hugs and much love to you and yours always,

      Theresa

      Up ++++ and sharing everywhere