Celebrating the Lord's Day (Sunset or Midnight)

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kvanlaan

Puritan Board Doctor
Basically, don't start out asking "what can't I do?", ask "What can I do to please and glorify God?"

Yep. This is what I hear from people constantly: the Sabbath was made for me, that's why I can do what I want on the Sabbath. (Hence the quotation of Isaiah 58...)
 

Cato

Puritan Board Freshman
:um: Oh yea Josh, very helpful. :doh: Listen, Im not ignoring the sabbath but trying to integrate it into my everyday life & I am familiar with all the scripture on the subject matter as well as what confessions teach. Now what does Christ teach?
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
I know that this topic has been discussed before and there are differences between celebrating the Lord's Day from sunset to sunset and midnight to midnight.

If we were to go by Scripture or even principles from Scripture, what is the correct position to take (or is there a correct position, is this adiaphora)?

What are the positives/negatives of celebrating it sunset to sunset or midnight to midnight (I know there is also a view out there of 6am Sunday to 6am Monday)?

James Durham has quite an extensive section on this in his Practical Exposition of the Ten Commandments. He argues that Sunday should be measured like the other days, and that they were measured from midnight to midnight, even in Genesis where "evening" is listed first. The supposed practice of measuring sunset to sunset he takes to apply only to special feasts, not to the weekly Sabbath. He also thinks it's ridiculous to start work at the end of the day when you're about to be interrupted in it by going to bed anyway. And extra time for preparation comes in under the heading of Remember. If we are remembering the Sabbath every day of the week, we are so ordering our affairs that we can come to Sunday with undistracted hearts, and if we are remembering what we will be doing on the Sabbath we will take some time on Saturday to prepare our hearts, as well as our affairs. But extending the Sabbath back to Saturday night is unwarrantable: it isn't that the Sabbath begins, it is that we are remembering it, and ever more as it approaches. I think it's very helpful, even if the language in a few of the arguments is a little Byzantine.

Great point about the Remember part.
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
It's also as Vos and others pointed out a type of the eternal Rest that Christ has already entered into body and soul when He rose from the dead on the First Day of the week.

Until we enter that rest with Him when we go to glory, He invites and commands us to enjoy it with Him in a special way, once a week.

The typological significance of the Sabbath is not removed until the Seven Day Week and the Sabbath are swallowed up by the antitype of the Heavenly Eschatalogical Kingdom. It isn't swallowed up by the New Covenant, because Man is still Man and God is still God.

Therefore, as Vos points out, part of the importance of the Sabbath is not to always be "busily religious" on that day but to be still and know that God is God, that Christ is at Rest from the work that he has completed for us in Redemption and New Creation, and to remind ourselves of the blessed fact that we are at Rest, by God's grace, in Him.

As the Medieval monks rightly believed (while of course taking the whole thing in a wrong and unbiblical direction) exercises of the soul need time set aside, peace, quiet and the shutting out of the world (both the world that lies in the wicked one, and also otherwise legitimate secular concerns) as much as possible. This is the provision God has given us in the genius of the Sabbath, while permitting, nay commanding His people to be in the World but not of "the World that lieth (Rests?) in the Wicked One."

Modern evangelicals forget this and trample on the Fourth Commandment to their own spiritual harm. If we find the Sabbath boring, maybe we don't properly understand the nature of the Sabbath provision and command, or maybe we find God and Christ boring?
 

Scott1

Puritanboard Commissioner
As someone new to reformed theology... paint me a picture of what Honoring the Sabbath looks like from your perspective. Of course I am not looking for set rules in a legalistic way, but more of what does it look like in your life.

Thanks!

The Westminster Confession and London Baptist Confession are virtually identical on summarizing the doctrine of Scripture about the sabbath- you can see Chapter XXI of the former and its succinct summary above in this thread.

We might summarize by saying that the Lord has commanded us to "cease" one day in seven from our ordinary work and recreation and to set apart (make "holy") that day in order to prioritize the worship of God.

That requires, ordinarily:

1) prepare in advance
2) abstain from work
3) abstain from recreation

"Ordinarily" because exceptions for mercy and necessity are established in the Commandment. "Necessity" is not based on personal convenience.

There have been some good threads about the fourth commandment, you may find a search helpful (upper right). Here is one thread around a poll of practical application of keeping the sabbath, the Lord's Day.
http://www.puritanboard.com/f25/keeping-sabbath-37393/

Here is another that centered around eating out on Sunday and the fourth commandment, that generated a lot of good discussion about the fourth commandment generally:
http://www.puritanboard.com/f25/eating-out-lords-day-scripture-confession-46207/
 
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SolaScriptura

Puritanboard Brimstone
Here's what I do, and what you should do as well...

For all practical purposes, my Sabbath rest begins when I go to bed Saturday night (whatever time it is), and it ends when I wake up Monday (however early it is).
 

Andres

Puritan Board Doctor
Listen, Im not ignoring the sabbath but trying to integrate it into my everyday life & I am familiar with all the scripture on the subject matter as well as what confessions teach. Now what does Christ teach?

Steve, a comment like this seems to imply that you don't find the confessions to line up with Christ's teaching. Surely, I'm misunderstanding you right?
 

Cato

Puritan Board Freshman
Wow Richard T. Sabbath Silence, prayer & practicing letting go of the world's addictive patterns.

It makes me wonder how many people today are going to get out of the trap. With the earphones playing music all day, the cellphone, the PC, the workload. No wonder we have people keeling over from heart attacks & stroke or getting divorced. Folks need to let go of the private dream for the dream of God.

---------- Post added at 09:47 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:44 AM ----------

Andrew...Right, Christ always aligned with scripture to the Jot. Whats more he expanded on it. Id like to know more about that.
 

Scott1

Puritanboard Commissioner
Wow Richard T. Sabbath Silence, prayer & practicing letting go of the world's addictive patterns.

It makes me wonder how many people today are going to get out of the trap. With the earphones playing music all day, the cellphone, the PC, the workload. No wonder we have people keeling over from heart attacks & stroke or getting divorced. Folks need to let go of the private dream for the dream of God.

---------- Post added at 09:47 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:44 AM ----------

Andrew...Right, Christ always aligned with scripture to the Jot. Whats more he expanded on it. Id like to know more about that.

Good observation-

God does require we break our relentless patterns of seeking material things and amusement to come apart and prioritize worshipping Him, all day, one day in seven.

Start where you are, ask for God's grace- there is grace, and blessing for obedience, especially when one is willing to suffer to obey God.

Maybe, cannot guarantee, but perhaps God will bless the obedience with saving you from some of the trappings of violation- including "burn out," and a lifestyle based on presumption and debt.
 

Whitefield

Puritan Board Junior
Midnight to midnight for me ... and I always look forward to that wonderful blessing from God about halfway through the Sabbath ... a holy nap about 12:30 p.m.
 

Andres

Puritan Board Doctor
As someone new to reformed theology... paint me a picture of what Honoring the Sabbath looks like from your perspective. Of course I am not looking for set rules in a legalistic way, but more of what does it look like in your life.

Thanks!

Eric, correct me if Im wrong, but it sounds like you want a specific example of how someone might observe the sabbath? I will share a general outline of my wife and my day.

I usually try to wake up a little early and read a bit and pray before I begin my shower and start getting dressed. While we're getting ready, my wife and I listen to a Christian radio station that plays nothing but praise music on Sunday mornings. We go to Sunday school at 9:30 and then have worship at 10:45. We usually get out around 12:15. The third Sunday of every month our church has a lunch fellowship where everyone brings a dish and we eat together. I really enjoy these days and would actually love to see them more often. On the days we don't have the lunch fellowship, we usually linger around the church for 15 - 30 mins or so after service just talking with people. We then go home and eat lunch. Lunch usually consists of something fairly simple. I cannot say we do absolutely no cooking, but we definitely try to minimize it. For example, we might make a casserole the day before so that all we have to do is heat it up in the oven. Crockpot meals are good on Sundays too. We throw everything in the pot when we wake up and its ready to eat by the time we get home. During lunch my wife and I will talk about the lesson in Sunday school and the sermon. After eating, we might read a bit or take a nap. I almost always end up taking a nap at some point, but I try to limit it to just enough to keep me refreshed and attentive for the afternoon service and later reading. Around 5:20 or so we get ready for evening service, which is very casual for our church. We have Hymn singing by choice on Sunday evenings which basically means people pick out what hymns they want to sing, so I usually will look up a hymn or two to suggest for service. Evening service starts at 6:00 and after hymn singing we have a class that lasts anywhere until 7:00 - 7:30. Sometimes after we might chat a bit. I might pick my pastors brain about what he is reading and what I am reading and other small talk like that. When we get home we usually have leftovers from lunch for dinner or maybe a sandwich. We talk about class we just had and what we are studying. After dinner, I might read some more or listen to an online theology class or something of that nature. I am currently doing a study of WCF with a study guide so Sundays have been my time to work through that. Later in the evening I might go for a walk and listen to the WhiteHorse Inn or some other series I am in. By then it's getting late and time to wind down so I will read in bed and hit the sack thanking the Lord for a most blessed day in Christ.
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
Wow Richard T. Sabbath Silence, prayer & practicing letting go of the world's addictive patterns.

It makes me wonder how many people today are going to get out of the trap. With the earphones playing music all day, the cellphone, the PC, the workload. No wonder we have people keeling over from heart attacks & stroke or getting divorced. Folks need to let go of the private dream for the dream of God.

---------- Post added at 09:47 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:44 AM ----------

Andrew...Right, Christ always aligned with scripture to the Jot. Whats more he expanded on it. Id like to know more about that.

Well, this is it.

In a sense people, particularly regenerate Christians, need the quietness, spiritual contemplation and devoted rest in Christ's Rest, that the Sabbath affords for body, mind and soul, even more in these days because worldly distractions seem to be even more insistent. How can we get a time of of quietness of soul and peace to meditate on what we have in Christ?

The only way to get out of the trap is to find liberty in obeying Christ's Commandments. Christ had to free this law from the legalistic burdens which the Pharisees had added to it, but He never abolished it or indicated it was going to be abolished.
 

SolaScriptura

Puritanboard Brimstone
Midnight to midnight for me ... and I always look forward to that wonderful blessing from God about halfway through the Sabbath ... a holy nap about 12:30 p.m.

Aww, that's cute! A "holy nap." Out of curiousity, could you please enlighten me by telling me what is the difference between a "holy" nap and an unholy nap?

Anyone else have an activity they baptize with a "holy" name on the Lord's Day? Me - I enjoy a sanctified stogie.
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
Midnight to midnight for me ... and I always look forward to that wonderful blessing from God about halfway through the Sabbath ... a holy nap about 12:30 p.m.

Aww, that's cute! A "holy nap." Out of curiousity, could you please enlighten me by telling me what is the difference between a "holy" nap and an unholy nap?

Anyone else have an activity they baptize with a "holy" name on the Lord's Day? Me - I enjoy a sanctified stogie.

Because he's resting in Christ in a special typological way on the Sabbath, in anticipation of his Heavenly Rest with Christ? :D

We rest in Christ and His finished work everyday by faith, but the Lord's Day is an opportunity to enjoy the Rest that Christ has purchased for us in a special way and to worship our God and Saviour for purchasing it for us. These days are stepping-stones to Glory.
 

Willem van Oranje

Puritan Board Junior
Midnight to midnight for me ... and I always look forward to that wonderful blessing from God about halfway through the Sabbath ... a holy nap about 12:30 p.m.

Aww, that's cute! A "holy nap." Out of curiousity, could you please enlighten me by telling me what is the difference between a "holy" nap and an unholy nap?

Anyone else have an activity they baptize with a "holy" name on the Lord's Day? Me - I enjoy a sanctified stogie.

A nap may be called "holy" if used for a holy purpose, i. e. to provide needed physical rest to ensure and improve alertness, attentiveness, and energy for Sabbath evening worship.
 

Whitefield

Puritan Board Junior
Midnight to midnight for me ... and I always look forward to that wonderful blessing from God about halfway through the Sabbath ... a holy nap about 12:30 p.m.

Aww, that's cute! A "holy nap." Out of curiousity, could you please enlighten me by telling me what is the difference between a "holy" nap and an unholy nap?

Anyone else have an activity they baptize with a "holy" name on the Lord's Day? Me - I enjoy a sanctified stogie.

It is a nap after feeling spent for the Lord. After preaching three times in three different churches on the Lord's Day, I come home, eat lunch, and fall asleep surrounded by my grandkids and family - it feels very much like a blessed gift from the Lord on that day, and so I call it a holy nap.
 

SRoper

Puritan Board Graduate
I celebrate everyday as the Lords Day.... The sabbath is meant for man, not man for the sabbath......."Praise God from whom all blessings flow"

So you never work?

On Mondays, I never go to work
On Tuesdays, I stay at home
On Wednesdays, I never feel inclined
Work is the last thing on my mind

On Thursdays, it's a holiday!
And Fridays I detest
Oh it's much too late on a Saturday
And Sunday is the day of rest

--They Might be Giants (Traditional?)
 

Romans922

Puritan Board Professor
I really thought things or people could be called 'holy' only if the Lord declares it as holy. I don't think we have the right to name things as 'holy'. Unless you can of course find something in Scripture where someone other than the Lord declares something to be holy.
 

ac7k

Puritan Board Freshman
Andrew... Thank you for your example... that was what I was looking for... :)
 

VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
What are the positives/negatives of celebrating it sunset to sunset or midnight to midnight (I know there is also a view out there of 6am Sunday to 6am Monday)?

If you live north of the arctic circle, the sunset to sunset approach poses some practical problems in the middle of summer and winter.
 

Andres

Puritan Board Doctor
What are the positives/negatives of celebrating it sunset to sunset or midnight to midnight (I know there is also a view out there of 6am Sunday to 6am Monday)?

If you live north of the arctic circle, the sunset to sunset approach poses some practical problems in the middle of summer and winter.

Great point!
 

NB3K

Puritan Board Sophomore
Yes you are correct. All the days of the week are God's. But God has set the Sabbath for Him. The LORD's day should not be used for personal profit or gain but for personal reflection (reflect on your walk with Christ) and to worship God. I am not particular about time. Wake up to Sleep on the Lord's day is the way I do it. I do admire the ambition that others have with planning out what to do on the Lord's day.

(Yeah where is the Whitefield Picture)
 
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