Perhaps you’ve heard of Meatless Mondays and Taco Tuesdays. I’ve just recently learned a new one – Self-Care Sundays. While reading an article in a popular women’s magazine, I saw a reference to this new-to-me idea. A quick internet search taking only .45 seconds returned 416,000,000 hits, and I realized this must be a real thing!
What are Self-Care Sundays? I found many recommendations about activities I could be doing to make my Sundays a lot better for me – suggestions to help me to set aside my regular work and responsibilities and to relax; to help me to be better organized for the week ahead; to help me to enjoy nature; to help me to eat better, etc. There was some encouragement to spend time with others, but I’m really to focus on myself, including others only if I find it to be helpful. Music and reading were mentioned, and I was encouraged to keep a thanksgiving journal and to learn to love myself more – both body and soul. One article even promised ideas that would fill me up with serenity and joy.
Below is what the Westminster Confession of Faith (Chapter XXI) has to say about Sundays (emphasis mine):
VII. As it is the law of nature, that, in general, a due proportion of time be set apart for the worship of God; so, in his Word, by a positive, moral, and perpetual commandment binding all men in all ages, he has particularly appointed one day in seven, for a Sabbath, to be kept holy unto him: which, from the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ, was the last day of the week: and, from the resurrection of Christ, was changed into the first day of the week, which, in Scripture, is called the Lord's Day, and is to be continued to the end of the world, as the Christian Sabbath.
VIII. This Sabbath is to be kept holy unto the Lord when men, after a due preparing of their hearts, and ordering of their common affairs beforehand, do not only observe an holy rest all the day from their own works, words, and thoughts about their worldly employments and recreations, but also are taken up the whole time in the public and private exercises of his worship, and in the duties of necessity and mercy.
In short, the Lord’s Day is to be about the Lord..
Barry York had a recent post on self-identity in which he listed five common ways people are trying to be like God. Today, I add one more item to his list: Be like God … have your own day. Self-Care Sundays, while new to me, are no surprise. Romans 1 reminds us that when people suppress the truth in unrighteousness, they will worship and serve the creature rather than the creator. If the Lord is set aside, we will naturally fill the void with ourselves.
Should we give no thought to how we care for the inner and outer man? Certainly not! Because we are made in God’s image, we should be taking care of both the inner and outer man, but it should be out of reverence for Christ (2 Cor. 7:1), not because of self-worship.
As I think about the many benefits being promoted by Self-Care Sundays, I find that these things are found in the Lord and His Day, not in myself. He is the one who gives me perfect peace (Isa. 26:3), rest for my soul (Ps. 62:1), and greater joy by far (Ps. 4:7). The best book I can read on Sunday is His Word (Ps. 119:97); the best songs I can sing are in the Psalms. My best thoughts of thanksgiving are directed toward Him (Ps. 9:1-2), and the Lord gives me true freedom to set aside my work and call His day a delight (Isa. 58:13-14).
As we seek to live a balanced life on the other six days, we are free to approach the Lord’s Day as he has intended – for his worship (Lev. 23:3, Heb. 12:28), for fellowship (Heb. 10:24-25), for remembering his works of creation and redemption, and to rest from our worldly endeavors (Exod. 20:8-11; Deut. 5:12-15).
If you haven’t thought about the Lord’s Day lately, or if the whole idea of keeping the Lord’s Day is new to you, consider reading Joseph A. Pipa’s helpful book, The Lord’s Day.
May the Lord bless you this coming Lord’s Day as you focus on Him!