Of Seahawks and Pharisees

Of Seahawks and Pharisees

I have been battling with myself these past three months. On one hand, I hate it when a 10:00 Seahawk kickoff means a big drop in Sunday worship attendance. On the other hand, as I’ve been reading through the gospels, I see how many times Jesus fought with the Pharisees over the subject of the Sabbath. He wanted to heal someone and, because they were Sabbath sticklers, they wanted him to heal on any other day but the Sabbath. Jesus thought this was crazy and he made it clear that the “Sabbath was created for man,” not the other way around.

Like I said, I have been battling. I think the Fourth Commandment (about keeping the Sabbath holy) is still a commandment and a gracious gift from God. He gives us one full day of rest and invites us to focus on our relationship with Him. Obviously I’m biased, but I think that worship with our church family should, whenever possible, be a priority on Sunday mornings. Perhaps I just miss the “good old days” when our culture actually set aside time for Sunday worship, even to the point of stores and restaurants not opening on Sundays. But it does seem that for many Christian folk, Sunday worship has moved from being a priority to being only one of several competing options.

On the other hand, I love going home and watching the Seahawks trounce the 49ers. I like it that we are Super Bowl champions. And I actually believe that recreation and fun family activities can be an appropriate part of one’s Sabbath. I am not a Sabbath legalist.

So what do I want? Well, maybe that 10:47 folks would come to 9:00 worship on game days. It might not be your cup of tea, style-wise, but it is still a chance to worship with your church family and be a great Seahawks fan. Or set your fancy-schmancy TIVO so that you can go to church and then watch the game sans commercials… which is always better! Or maybe we have a Saturday night worship service during football season… something that we are thinking about for next fall.

And maybe I just need to loosen up. But like I said, I’m battling with myself over this one. And I guess that would be one more thing for you to consider doing: wrestle with yourself and your family about what you believe about the Sabbath, the importance of worship, of connecting with your church family on a weekly basis. Surely, that would have to be a worthwhile drill, right?

Enjoy the battle… enjoy the game… and join us for Advent worship on Sunday, please!

Pastor Mark