I had a few options. I could let the grass grown until next weekend. I could cut it sometime this week. I could cut it on Sunday. The first option was a no-go because the yard would have looked putrid by Saturday. The second option was almost an impossibility because I'll be working all week in hot temperatures; by the time I get home I'll be too tired to cut grass. Option three seemed like the only option.
In light of the situation, I did something earthshaking: I cut my grass. On Sunday.
I'm having a bit of fun with this mainly at my own expense. Not too long ago I would not have mowed the lawn because I thought I was violating the Sabbath. I went so far as to look disgustedly at others who cut their grass on the first day of the week. In my head I'd think, "They treat Sunday just like Saturday." Many of them were probably lost people, so for me to think this about them at all was absurd.
I have no plans to start cutting my grass on Sundays - at least not on a routine basis. Normally on Sundays we gather with our church family, hang out together as a family, and rest. In that sense, we're generally treating Sunday as a sort of Sabbath. However, we're definitely not treating it like a strict O.T. Sabbath (not that many Christians keep it from Friday sundown to Saturday sundown anyway, but I digress).
As I study scripture, I see the Sabbath as a gift from God to man. We read this in Mark:
"And he said to them, 'The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.'" Mark 2:27-28
By Jesus' time the religious leaders of the day had turned the Sabbath into a burden - the exact opposite of what it was intended to be. Jesus, as always, set them straight.
Sadly, some well-intentioned Christians still treat Sunday as if it is an O.T. type of Sabbath. I can still remember an angry old man yelling at me and my friends for playing baseball on Sunday afternoons on a local field; we were about eleven years old at the time and had been "in church" earlier in the day. That is a bit of an extreme example no doubt. Many very nice followers of Jesus still see Sunday as the Sabbath.
Interestingly, Sunday was simply not the Sabbath. It's just a day when some Christians met together. They may have done this because Jesus rose from the dead on Sunday. Despite this, we are never taught in the New Testament to keep the Sabbath or think of Sunday that way.
We see in the book of Hebrews in particular that Jesus Christ is our Sabbath rest. He has fulfilled any requirements from the O.T. Our rest is in Him. For example:
"So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God's rest has also rested from his works as God did from his." Hebrews 4:9-10
We enter God's rest when we become Christ's.
The above two verses are interesting because they mention God resting from his works. The Sabbath, then, extends all the way back to creation and not simply to Sinai. Because of this, the concept of a Sabbath seems to have lasting importance. For this reason alone, the idea of taking a weekly rest of sorts appears wise. I know I always feel better after some rest on Sunday.
However, I don't have to rest on Sunday. Neither do you. Jesus is our rest. Just because we may gather with other believers on Sundays, this doesn't mean we are limited in our activities this day.
This can certainly be a thorny/sticky issue for Christians. How should we handle it? Paul helps us a great deal with this. In Colossians 2:16-17 the apostle writes, "Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ." (emphasis mine)
Paul makes it clear that his list, including the Sabbath, is a list of shadows. Jesus Christ is the reality. He has fulfilled the requirements for us to have eternal rest in Him.
In light of this, what should we do on Sundays? We should do whatever we believe the Holy Spirit is leading us to do. It's as simple as that. Some Sundays we might rest. On others we might mow the lawn. At other times the Spirit may tell us to serve others by cutting their grass.
In the end the Sabbath is a gift. It is ultimately Christ. We have rest in Him.
So I mowed my lawn on Sunday and despite what I used to believe, it really is O.K.