In the 1970s, my mother had known Christ for less than a decade. As a young wife and a new mother, she was eager to learn how to live the Christian life. The concept of consciously applying the fourth commandment was still something she was growing in: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy…” (Exodus 20:8-11).
What a wonderful gift the Lord’s Day is! Resting as God rested after creation. Remembering creation and redemption. Celebrating Jesus' resurrection. Anticipating the coming day of the Lord.
But how to keep the commandment in Christ?
One day, my parents visited two of my father’s great-aunts who were well past age 70. They were the youngest two siblings from a family of thirteen children in eastern Kansas. In their youngest days, their father had pastored the Vernon, Wisconsin Reformed Presbyterian Church which met in the building sketched above.
As they sat and visited, my mother asked these elderly sisters the question,
When you were growing up, how did you spend your Lord’s Days?
The two sisters just smiled at one another and said,
Oh no, we didn’t spend the Sabbath; we kept it.
Sometimes, an ounce of principle is worth a pound of prescription.