Archive for the 'The Sabbath' Category

The Sabbath

January 8, 2009

An Unexpected JourneyI am currently reading An Unexpected Journey by W. Robert Godfrey. The section that has struck me most is where rtrcGodfrey writes about the importance of the Sabbath in the Reformed tradition. I have also recently read Recovering The Reformed Confession by R. Scott Clark who makes similar arguments about the importance of the second service in Reformed churches as part of reverence for the Sabbath day.

Being brought up in the evangelical church I had been accustomed to going to church on Sunday for a morning service and then coming back for an evening service. Absent to me was any reason that Sunday was the day that one went to church or why one went to church on the first day of the week. An outflowing of this evangelical philosophy is manifested in offerings of Saturday worship services, Friday worship services, or whenever one can fit a worship service into his/her busy schedule.

Clark writes that the creation narrative “has the effect of saying that time and the calender as we experience the are not mere conventions, but rather they are grounded in the creative will of God.” Of the seventh day, Dr. Clark writes:

“It is not too much to say that it, rather than the length of days, is the point of the creation narrative.” (299)

Godfrey notes that “the Sabbath is not just a Mosaic institution, but a creation ordinance and a picture of the consummation.” Therefore, the importance of the Sabbath predates the Mosaic laws. The coming of Christ does not do away with Sabbath observance as Sabbath observance is not only due to the Mosaic laws. God created the heavens and the earth in six days and rested on the seventh day as example of how we as creatures should model our lives.

Godfrey writes further:

“When we recognize that Sunday is the Lord’s Day, we begin to see a beautiful element of God’s redemptive work in human history. We see how the seventh-day Sabbath pointed forward to rest that would come at the end of work. The Lord’s Day on the first day of the week points to rest already won in Christ.” (49)

As an evangelical on the road to Geneva I find it encouraging to see the reverence that these two men have for God as evidenced in their arguments for respect for the Sabbath.