In 1894, Labor Day was declared a national holiday. Most worked a six-day work week and then enjoyed Sundays for worship, time with family, and relaxation. Sunday was their “Divine Day of Vacation” set aside by God to slow us down and recharge us physically, mentally, and most importantly, spiritually.
In God’s 3rd Commandment, “Remember to keep holy the Lord’s Day,” He gave us an incredible gift. However, many don’t open and accept this gift. Instead, many choose to make the “Lord’s Day” another “labor” day to catch up on chores, laundry, shopping, and yard work. Has your weekly “Lord’s Day” become a “labor” day? God’s wisdom offers us a better plan.
“Six days you may labor and do ALL your work,
but the seventh day is a Sabbath of the LORD your God”
– Exodus 20:9
It is a matter of priorities and trust. Which plan is better? Your plan, or God’s? I challenge you to choose to accept God’s gift and trust in His plan and commit to preserving your Sundays for worshiping, slowing down to spend quality time with family and friends, and to count your blessings and thanking God for them.
Opening God’s gift of Sunday starts with pre-planning and rearranging your schedule during the week to get important tasks done earlier so your Sunday is cleared to enjoy your weekly “Divine Day of Vacation.”
Consider the benefits of setting Sunday aside to nurture your relationships with family, friends and especially with your Creator, the source of life, wisdom and truth. With such an incredible gift waiting to be opened, make a plan and give yourself permission to rest and relax with God! Remember, Christ has personally invited us . . .
“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.”
– Matthew 11:28
Since God has given you this gift of “rest”— you now just have to open and enjoy His gift for you and your family.
Decide as a family to put down the electronics and spend time together. Explore nature, take a walk, have a picnic or BBQ, play sports or a board game. Cool off swimming or just take a nap. Center your day with Jesus, His love and mercy, by going to Mass, reading Scripture and discover the lives of the saints and discussing them. Pray together. The rosary is a great place to begin.
Reflect on how trusting in God’s plan for Sundays also sends the right message to your children. How will your choice play out in whether they will include Jesus and going to weekly Mass in their life when they go off to college, get a job and have a family of their own?
This Labor Day Weekend, take an honest look at on how you spend your time on Sundays and during the week. Identify time that is spent on low priority, unnecessary and unhealthy activities. Cut them out and reorganize your plans so you can get everything done in six days, as God advises. Here are some questions to help you rebalance your time and priorities and open this precious gift from God:
- What activities have I allowed to waste my time, drain my energy and rob me of a good night’s rest?
- Do I intentionally spend time with God on Sunday? How can I be more intentional?
- Do I look at attending Mass as my Sunday “obligation,” or is it a time I look forward to worshiping and honoring and giving thanks to God for all my blessings?
- Do I do unnecessary shopping and do chores on Sunday? How can I plan to do them at another time during the week?
- Do sports take priority over God during my Sunday? How can I reprioritize my time on Sundays?
- How would having a better plan for my week enrich my relationships with God? Family? Friends? Someone in Need?
Do you know others who generally spend their “Divine Day of Vacation” as a day of labor? In love, bless them by sharing how truly incredible God’s gift Sundays can be for them if they choose to open it.
For additional insights on the truth and wisdom of the 3rd Commandment, check out these helpful resources:
- Visit the overview of the 3rd Commandment at If U Love Me
- The Catechism of the Catholic Church on the 3rd Commandment
- Previous blogs/articles at GodsRecipe.org on the 3rd Commandment
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