Sunday is supposed to be the day of rest.
That seems to be have been forgotten by many. As we were growing up, our grocery store and every other business in town was closed on Sunday. Stores stayed open late Saturday night, it was farmers’ shopping day, but Sunday morning Main Street was bare.
It was impossible to buy anything. If a Sunday trip was planned, the vehicle must be fueled up the day before, or the tank would surely run dry. Sunday dinner was eaten at home, from a packed lunch or with an acquaintance, because eating establishments kept their doors locked on the first day of the week as well.
There were major city department stores that kept Sunday hours, but with only exceptions rural communities did not. In the name of greediness, or more congenially stated, profitability, a few rural stores opened for Sunday business in the mid ’60s. Originally, it was gas stations, next restaurants, then grocery stores and others followed.
Now, most people seem to wonder more why a business has its doors shut on Sunday, rather than why it is open. Thankfully, still most major businesses that are not retail firms consider a five-day work week appropriate, giving majority of their employees Saturday and Sunday as time off.
However, most of the companies that have something to sell are open seven days a week. Consequently, there must be workers to service the trade. Smaller communities are still an exception to the rule in totality, as a number of rural businesses do remain closed on Sunday. Yet, every town regardless of size nowadays has some Sunday trade.
Many people don’t even realize why businesses were ever closed on Sunday. The reason is simple: It’s one of the Ten Commandments brought down by Moses from Mount Sinai and recorded several times in the Bible.
Most direct order comes in Deuteronomy13-14: “For six days, you shall labour and do all your work. But the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work, you, or your son or your daughter, or your male or female slave, or your ox or your donkey, or any of your livestock, or the resident alien in your towns, so that your male and female slave may rest as well as you.”
As direct as the order is most people like to use their own interpretation. We have often been one of them. Yep, Sunday was the day off from the regular job, so we could “get a lot done on the ranch.” Church attendance was always a first priority, and then “hurry back and get some work done today.”
We now do very little manual labor on Sunday, but many people, businesses and activities, more than ever in our lifetime, ignore that Sunday is for rest. Clarification comes in Genesis 2:3: “God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it he had rested from all his work.”
And, in Mark 2:27: “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.” Interestingly, those who go to extremes in Sunday relaxation through excessive eating, drinking and vanity are not right either. That also is an abuse of the Lord’s Day as noted in Romans 14:17: “The Kingdom of God does not consist in food and drink.”