[This post is part of a series about observing a sabbath.]
As we close out this series, this final post is kind of a postscript.
This series has been written about observing a sabbath. By this, we have endeavored to consider the day as a beneficial practice or habit, but we have stopped short of talking about its more technical, theological shifts.
So, here I want to say just a word about its ongoing relevance for Christians.
The exegetical challenges of appropriating the Old Testament Sabbath to the New Covenant is beyond what we can shortly summarize.
What is clear, to most Christians anyway, is that something has changed in the arrival of Jesus, the Christ, and we must think about the Sabbath differently.
How so? At the very least, if you treat a Sunday as a sabbath, then something has changed. The Old Testament Sabbath was Saturday. To move it, or to change the details of the command itself, we must unmoor it. The debate tends to surround the question of how much should be unmoored.
Again, this debate has filled books, so I won’t even try to rehearse it. But let me just suggest this: One day in seven, set apart for rest, remembrance, and relationship, is still relevant for Christians.
To me, the essential relevance is anchored in creation (a line of reasoning Luther takes). God himself rested and blessed the seventh day (Genesis 2:3). One day in seven. This is pre-fall, pre-law. This day in seven is like sleep, which has many forms, lengths, and exceptions, and yet is inarguably built into the necessary rhythms of life.
I think it is then safe to say one day in seven follows a similar logic and function in our lives as does sleep. As such, a sabbath day (or Lord’s Day) has ongoing relevance for Christians as a fundamental principle and rhythm.
I hope you will consider observing one.