April/May 2013 - Vol. 67

Keeping The Lord's Day Holy
Part 3: The Significance of the Third Commandment for the New Evangelization
by Nico Angleys

This three part series was originally written as a Master's Thesis for a degree requirement at Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Seminary in Detroit, Michigan, USA. While it was written from a Roman Catholic perspective, the material can be beneficial for Christians from other traditions as well. The author welcomes input and questions. -ed. 

The Oxford English dictionary defines evangelization as the act of “proclaiming the Gospel” or “preaching the Gospel.”118  To evangelize is to announce the Good News of Jesus Christ. The process of evangelization involves both a proclamation and a reception of this Good News in the life of the hearer. In Evangelii Nuntiandi, Pope Paul VI writes that evangelizing is at the heart of the Church’s identity, yet it is a “complex process made up of varied elements: the renewal of humanity, witness, explicit proclamation, inner adherence, entry into the community, acceptance of signs, apostolic initiative.”119 

The work of evangelization encompasses much of the activity of the Church in the modern world. In Redemptoris Missio, Blessed John Paul II writes of a “new evangelization” or a “re-evangelization” of countries that once had Christian roots but are no longer living and practicing their faith. Thus the task of evangelization is not simply to the nations “out there” (to the East and to the South)120  but also to the peoples of the once Christian nations and the newer nations. What then does the third commandment contribute to the understanding of this New Evangelization? The answer lies in examining how this commandment re-invigorates and strengthens a Christian culture in the modern age. As Benedict writes, “the fight for Sunday is another of the Church’s major concerns in the present day, when there is so much to upset the rhythm of time that sustains community.”121  Sigve Tonstad proposes that the seventh day has a theological, historical, and existential meaning for man and thus is a “meaning-making resource, capable of meeting the challenges of the human quest for purpose and hope in the present.”122  Bass writes that “there has rarely been a time when awareness of the human need for Sabbath has been greater, or the church’s call to address that need more urgent.” 123

In this section I will examine five ways in which the third commandment could contribute to the new evangelization. First, pertaining to time, this commandment offers insight for handling the fragmentation of life, the challenge of new technologies, and the search for meaning of the passing of time in the modern person’s life. Second, this commandment helps people remember their roots and the importance of relational connectedness. Third, keeping the Lord’s Day holy proposes a fresh understanding of the meaning of work. Fourth, this precept presents opportunities for growth in character, namely in generosity and in expressing joy. Fifth, and finally, this command offers an opportunity for dialogue and proclamation of the Good News to the other monotheistic peoples, the Jews and the Muslims.

A. Time 

1. Fragmentation of Life
The command to worship and to rest has something very significant to say to the modern person who lives a fragmented life. The harrying nature of multitasking and of multiple forms of communication can lead the young especially to lose track of their purpose and direction in life. The ever-present and relatively low-cost forms of available entertainment further accentuate the fragmented experience of life for modern people. Thus the multitude of voices and the frenetic pace of technological society are significant factors in fragmenting normal life for the western person. The commercializing trends of a culture where time is money 124  and consumption its currency also contribute to the fragmented experience of life. Bass notes that “it is not the lack of time but rather its formlessness that is the troubling scenario. One can see human lives becoming ever more fully detached from nature, from community, and from a sense of belonging to a story that extends beyond one’s own span of years.” 125

A day that is clearly and consciously set apart can provide an antidote to these dehumanizing influences. In the act of worship, believers are prompted to lift their gaze towards God and his heavenly dwelling place. The rest achieved by ceasing their constant productivity allows men and women to re-center their lives on their true end: relationship with the living God. Time set aside for that relationship is tremendously needed in this day and age.

2. New Technologies
The advent of the Internet and numerous new technologies 126 in the world of communication and productivity have increased the individualizing trends in western culture. Blogging promotes the tendency to highly value oneself and one’s opinions. Social networking increases a solitary form of relating by confining the interaction with others to a screen and by removing the need for simultaneous connection. Tweeting has a narcissistic effect: people care about the things that I do so I need to inform them of the minutia of my schedule. Internet search engines cater to advanced personalized profiles to match the individual’s preferences. Cell phones, and smart phones in particular, regularly detach a person’s attention from the environment he or she is in. Email blurs the natural barriers of work and personal life for many individuals in the workplace. The positive effects and benefits of these technologies are numerous; however, one cannot ignore the individualizing and atomizing effect these have on people.

The various practices involved in keeping the Lord’s Day holy can also address the challenge the young face in handling new technologies and media. The relevant wisdom of this commandment abides in is its emphasis on worship and relationships with others, neither of which are inherent in the new technologies. The day that calls for communal activities centered on prayer, reflection, and relationships is an aid to reverse the cultural trends of individualization. Keeping the Lord’s Day holy requires a spiritual power that is far more sustaining to human life than the battery, the screen, and the network. A day that is focused on the relationships close at hand, in the flesh, will counter the isolating work of six days spent tethered to the information superhighway. 

3. Finding Meaning in the Passing of Time
Many an observer of modern life notes the increasing pace of life in the West. The historian harkens to past societies when time seemed to move “slower” than now. The scientist welcomes the increased pace of discovery as progress. The philosopher remarks that new ideas are revolutionizing. Sociologists Peter and Brigitte Berger worry about “the homeless mind” of modern man and note that the superimposition of the wristwatch and the calendar on more ancient modes of temporality contributes to the destabilizing of enduring human time-consciousness. 127 Ancient modes of keeping time relied on the natural rhythms of agrarian work (hours of daylight and the seasons), on the rhythms of the community (shared space with extended family and the relationships with those in close proximity), and on the rhythms of the local customs (religious or social). This is observable today in the traditional societies of Latin America and Africa where the two modes of temporality are still distinguishable. Non-western societies observe the frenetic pace of life in many industrialized western nations and are puzzled by this. Fast, instant, new, quick, busy, hectic, full are many of the adjectives used to describe the passing of time. Jacques Ellul proposes that efficiency has become the sole criterion of value in technological society, yet he perspicaciously notes that “leisure is the respiratory function of the system. It is the function that lets us breathe, the escape hatch that gives the illusion of freedom.”128  The meaning of time is seemingly lost in the West.

The human heart needs to punctuate its rhythms and its sense of time. The regular ceasing from the humdrum and tedium of ordinary life offers an opportunity to contemplate the meaning of its passing. Perhaps more importantly, the observance of the Lord’s Day enables the Christian to accept and receive the truth that all time belongs to the Lord. It provides a redeemed perspective to the notion that tempus fugit (“time flies”). This practice can induce hope in an area where despair at the futility and purposelessness of time’s passing has the upper hand in western culture. Tonstad examines the negative impact of the prevalence of “clock time” in modern society and proposes that the sabbath “interrupts the routine of clock time and the obligation of work by calling creation to a day of rest according to the great clock of nature.” 129 The sabbath allows the modern people to overcome the de-theologizing of life induced by the dominance of clock time and to return to creation time which gives them meaning for life.

B. Connected to One’s Roots

1. Remembering
Socrates is famous for having said that the unexamined life is not worth living. Pascal wrote about his generation that the cause of man’s unhappiness could be linked to one single cause: “they do not know how to remain at rest in their own room.”130  This observation made three hundred and fifty years ago holds true all the more today. The present generation is neither connected to its own personal past nor to its collective cultural history. The modern person does not take the trouble to look back and reflect on the lessons learned, but rather idealistically and romantically gazes forward in time towards the future. The young especially have little regard for the past.

One of the practices of keeping the Lord’s Day holy is to recounting God’s blessings in one’s life as well as a recollection of God’s work in the past week. At the heart of the sabbath command is the injunction to remember: “Remember to keep the sabbath holy” (Exodus 20:8). Childs observes that the text on the sabbath command contains a “theology of memory.”131  The act of remembering the small blessings and deeds of God’s deliverance on a weekly basis is a small habit that can increase the virtue of remembering the more existential blessings of life, namely God’s work of salvation from sin and death. Keeping the Lord’s Day holy counteracts the distorting effect of the future-oriented perspective.

2. Relational Rootedness
One of the traits of western culture is the high mobility of families and individuals. In a global economy, geographical stability is not a common pattern for one’s lifelong career. The Bergers note that individuals are often and easily uprooted from their normal social milieu which leaves them “homeless,” socially speaking. They note that religion used to provide a grounding for human beings and in the modern context, “social ‘homelessness’ has become metaphysical.”132  This is observed when focusing on the changes in family life in modern culture. The sense of family over the course of the twentieth century has gone from having strong relations with the extended family, to mainly relating to one’s immediate family.133  Currently the trends in family life are even more dire as the very structure of the immediate family is slowly imploding with the rise of divorce.134  Men and women are less and less rooted relationally.

The family is the domestic church, the place where a significant relational dimension of the Christian life is to be experienced and taught. As Benedict explains, “from her very inception, the Church that emerged, and continues to emerge, has attached fundamental importance to defending the family as the core of all social order.”135  Keeping the Lord’s Day holy contributes to the New Evangelization in the sense that it proposes a set of practices that strengthen and protect family life. The emphasis on family life and relationships that the Church recommends in the application of this commandment gives the modern person a context for multi-generational relationships. Children, even adult children, stand much to gain by spending time getting to know their parents, grandparents, and other older members of their family. Extended families, as dysfunctional as they may be as a consequence of the Fall, are God-given relationships intended to test and try the faithful in their practice of charity and fidelity. Keeping the Lord’s Day holy provides a place in time and in relationships to strengthen family life.

C. The Meaning of Work

Work in western cultures over the course of the twentieth century has become an antidote to boredom. As a result, as Fromm puts it, “work has become alienated from the working person.”136  Thus the modern person must search and filter through the chorus of voices of these pluralistic societies in order to find the true meaning of work. The loss of a unified view of the meaning of work makes it more challenging for the modern person to discover and foster the human dignity found in labor. Work is often relegated to yet another one of the fragmented and disjointed elements of a person’s life which has no metaphysical purpose or substance. For philosopher Josef Pieper, the myth of Sisyphus has become the “mythical paradigm of the ‘Worker’ chained to his labor without rest, and without inner satisfaction.”137  The true meaning of work can only be found in the proper understanding of leisure as the basis for culture. Leisure, as Pieper defines it, is a “receptive attitude of mind, a contemplative attitude, and it is not only the occasion but also the capacity for steeping oneself in the whole of creation.”138 

In keeping the Lord’s Day holy, the worker comes to understand and experience properly the place of human work in ordinary life. As Benedict XVI expresses it in Sacramentum Caritatis: “This is highly significant, for it [the day of rest] relativizes work and directs it to the person: work is for man and not man for work. It is easy to see how this actually protects men and women, emancipating them from a possible form of enslavement.”(74) The keeping of the Lord’s Day is a protection against the slavery of work. This practice is therefore a means by which the New Evangelization can effectively transform and preserve authentic human culture.

D. A Disciple’s Character

1. Generosity

a) Giving Time
In observing the command to keep the Lord’s Day holy, the believer is taught to relate to time in the proper perspective: time belongs to God. The Christian makes a day holy every seven days by consecrating it to the Lord and choosing to do things for others rather than for oneself. Keeping the Lord’s Day holy is training in the virtue of generosity. If one can be generous with time, generosity in relationships and in material resources will perhaps more easily follow. This commandment fortifies the growth in character of the Christian people by providing the context for a set of practical activities that require generosity. Worship, rest, solidarity, and family relationships all require a disposition to be generous with one’s time. Generosity itself is an important part of the character of a disciple, as it is understood to be one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.139 

b) The Gift of Good News
Modern western cultures, due to their increased materialism and individualism, are often lacking in generosity. One of the compelling methods of proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ in the New Evangelization is through the voice of generosity. The emphasis on generosity can be a potent witness of the aroma of Christ to the members of these cultures. In the context of the Lord’s Day, generosity is expressed relationally through hospitality and through celebration. John Paul II calls the Church “to hospitality, dialogue, assistance and, in a word, fraternity”140  in places that once were Christian but are now increasingly non-Christian. The hospitality expressed in a spirit of dominical celebration offers to reach out to one’s neighbors for a Sunday dinner. Is not this generosity a fitting response to Paul VI’s concern regarding the prevalent obstacles to evangelization: “fatigue, disenchantment, compromise, lack of interest and above all lack of joy and hope?”141 

c) Giving to Those in Need
The consumer orientation of our western societies has readily turned many religious feasts into opportunities for purchasing, acquiring, and owning. Christmas, Easter, Halloween, St Patrick’s Day all seem to be very commercially visible today. The sabbath, as Dawn puts it, contains a paradox: “both a special appreciation of possessions and a desire not to be dominated by them are part of keeping the sabbath day holy.”142  Materialism is an excess which can be curbed by the practice of giving.

Thus, one aspect of keeping the Lord’s Day is to practice giving and generosity instead of requiring and taking. Paul is concerned that the poor in Jerusalem are being neglected and thus he asks the Galatian and the Corinthian churches to give financially to remedy this situation (see 1 Corinthians 16:1-2 and then again 2 Corinthians 8:11-15 and 9:6-15). In 1 Corinthians 16:2, the reference to the “first day of every week” suggests some form of tithing as a Lord’s Day practice in the New Testament.143  The act of giving to fellow Christians in need in Jerusalem teaches the Corinthians through a Sunday practice that generosity is a mark of the Church. John Paul II speaks of Sunday as a “day of solidarity”144  in highlighting the need for generosity towards the poor and those in need. This dimension of the Lord’s Day emphasizes a more horizontal other-oriented set of practices which shows the breadth of this command. 

In the giving of time, the believer is called to grow in generosity towards God. In the giving of resources to those in need, the believer is called to grow in generosity towards neighbor and love of others. As this growth in generosity takes place in the disciple’s life, the quality of human relationships will increase. The kingdom of God, brought about through the new evangelization is built on such transformed human relationships.145 

2. Joy – A Command to Celebrate!
Paul Lehmann writes about the impact of the blue laws 146 in the nineteenth century in this country, which regulated the activities on the Lord’s Day: “the pious regard for the Lord’s Day had slowly but surely [by the early twentieth century] been despoiled of celebration, the making of a holy day, in flagrant violation of the precedent set by the Creator, who took time off to enjoy all that he had made, and of creation’s own way of replenishing its energies.”147  Even among Christians, the practice of the Lord’s Day has lost some its joy and celebrative characteristics. Keeping the Lord’s Day holy reveals the importance of celebration. The third commandment in some ways is a command to celebrate and practice one of the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22), namely joy. The practice of this commandment calls to mind the many reasons for the joy inherent in the Christian life. The salvation obtained by Christ and the worship offered to the Triune God on Sunday in church is sufficient cause for tremendous joy to be expressed. The practice of joy on the Lord’s Day extends far beyond the liturgy however. The activities and the relationships of Sunday are meant to be marked by joy. “Sunday is the day of joy in a very special way, indeed the day most suitable for learning how to rejoice and to rediscover the true nature and deep roots of joy.”148  Families that mark the day with joy inculcate in their children some of the truth of the Christian faith: in Christ’s work there is great cause for celebration. Joyful celebrating can strengthen strained relationships by making present the reality of God’s work of healing and deliverance. 

The character trait of generosity manifested through celebration, hospitality, and gift-giving, tithing, and helping those in need on the Lord’s Day bears witness to the generosity of God. In a culture turned in on itself, on the individual, and on material things, this generosity can be the means of a powerful witness of Christian love and by extension the love of God Almighty.

E. Dialogue and Proclamation

1. Dialogue
Keeping a day holy for the Lord was first presented historically to the Chosen People as the sabbath. As history has unfolded itself, Islam in the practice of Jumah149  and Christianity in the practice of the Lord’s Day have developed this ancient command differently.150  The commonality of a holy day in all three monotheistic faiths suggests a place for dialogue. In 1991, in a document issued by the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue, the Church summarized several forms of dialogue with other faiths. Two of these are relevant to keeping the Lord’s Day holy. First, the “dialogue of life”151  is the form of interreligious dialogue that allows the common human experience to be a place of discussion. This is the dialogue where members of these faiths share a neighborhood and living space in such a manner that “it leaves room for the other person’s identity, modes of expression, and values.”152  That all three monotheistic faiths have a holy day could open the way for deeper respect and mutual care with regards to how each faith observes this day of worship. The importance of the practices of keeping the Lord’s Day holy can be the grounds for the Christian to foster solidarity and mercy towards members of the human race different from themselves. While the difference in holy days could also be the grounds for division and distinction, from the perspective of seeking dialogue, the Christian has more in common in the West with the Muslim and the Jew than the secularized atheist or the New Age pagan. Second, the “dialogue of religious experience”153  is the form of interreligious dialogue that allows for a sharing and discussion at the level of religious traditions and spiritual experience. This dialogue proposes a sharing of faith at a deeper level in the “ways of searching for the Absolute.”154  The discussion at the level of practice and understanding of the Lord’s Day and its riches could open the way for followers of Jesus Christ who are faithful to this commandment to have a persuasive voice at the interfaith table of dialogue. Tonstad writes that the meaning of the seventh day has a unified origin that leads to a common end, the sabbath has unifying power.155  This form of dialogue might prove particularly helpful with the Jews, since much of Christian Lord’s Day practices have their roots in Judaism. 

2. Proclamation
Worship is the purpose for which human beings and creation exist. Benedict XVI, in his comments on the creation account in Genesis, writes that “the creation accounts of all civilizations point to the fact that the universe exists for worship and for the glorification of God.”156  This universal existential purpose suggests that the modern human heart seeking for answers about the human raison d’être might recognize the Good News of the Creator as it is expressed in the worship of Sunday. To say that worship is evangelizing is perhaps too simplifying, naïve, or bold, yet the seeker-friendly mega-church phenomenon in the Evangelical world is an attempt to test the veracity of evangelizing worship. In these churches, the Sunday assembly is oriented towards a culturally-sensitive preaching of the Gospel of Jesus for an audience with little Christian background and language. These churches often have a weekday assembly that is oriented towards discipleship and communion, aimed at the core (non-seeker) membership. The success of the proclamatory impact of this experiment on our culture is by no means conclusive,157  yet the innovative use of Sunday worship might open the door to other evangelizing forms of Sunday assembly.

The Christian employer who understands the importance of keeping the Lord’s Day holy might earn a voice in the lives of his Muslim or Jewish employees by making some accommodation for them to worship on their holy day. Neighborhoods and schools that are influenced by an understanding of this commandment might also earn the respect of these monotheistic neighbors which could be a door to witnessing further to the love and saving power of Jesus Christ.

Since in Western nations Sunday is still considered a day off work, the hospitality of Christians on this day can be a venue for the proclamation of the Good News of Jesus Christ to one’s Jewish and Muslim neighbors. John Paul II presents Sunday as a day of light that comes from Jesus Christ 158  and from the a day of faith which lends itself to being a day of proclamation that brings light, Christ, and faith to those who are seeking.160  Might not these spiritual aspects of the Lord’s Day make it a prime day for the generous proclamation of the eternal kingdom it represents? In one of the concluding paragraphs of Dies Domini, he writes that “Sunday has the additional value of being a testimony and a proclamation”161  and then launches into an inspiring crescendo of reasons for this proclamation that culminates in the unending Sunday of the heavenly Jerusalem described in Revelation 21.162  Keeping the Lord’s Day holy contributes to the New Evangelization until the Lord of the Sabbath completes his Father’s work.

IV. Conclusion

I return now to Jesus’ activity on the sabbath. As observed above, he taught, he healed, and he rested. I propose in conclusion that keeping the Lord’s Day holy will in turn teach, heal, and bring us rest.

A. Teaching
The Lord’s Day is our teacher. Attending to the third commandment allows the Lord of that Day to teach his sons and daughters several noteworthy things: holiness, worship and rest, joy and generosity. The practices of this day teach us to evangelize by slowly and faithfully acting as leaven in our needy culture. While not directly evangelizing, many of the practices of the Lord’s Day propose to reveal the truth about the nature of time, the centrality of worship, the necessity of true rest, and the importance of generosity in Christian life. Keeping the Lord’s Day holy is at the heart of a Christian culture. The way of life gained by this practice 163 draws people to the Lord as it presents a humanly compelling vision of existence.

B. Healing
The Lord’s Day can heal us. Christ, in our keeping the Lord’s Day holy, would heal the modern person of many an illness. This healing is less like the miracles he performed on the sabbath that brought about instantaneous results and more like the application of a balm that brings about restoration over time. The believer’s practices to keep the Lord’s Day holy are a participation in the iterative process of entering into the rest of the Master. A proper understanding of time, of one’s place in creation, of one’s work, and of the virtues of generosity and joy will undoubtedly accomplish much in the healing of the nations that is part of the New Evangelization.

C. Eternal Rest
As God rested on the seventh day, the work of evangelization will prepare His creation for the eternal rest that awaits those whom He has redeemed. Keeping the Lord’s Day holy through worship, rest, and joy is a participation already in the life of the age to come. The practices of this day declare in many ways the truth that the work of creation is complete, our salvation has been won. “Eternity utters a day,”  as the Jewish sabbath prayers propose, and a day utters eternity, as the Lord’s holiness invites us into his realm.

Part 1. Keeping the Lord’s Day Holy in the Old Testament
Part 2. Keeping the Lord’s Day in the New Testament

118  “evangelize”, Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford: O.U.P. 2002. 
119 Evangelii Nuntiandi, 24.
120 Redemptoris Missio, 40.
121 Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth, 121.
122 Sigve K. Tonstad, The Lost Meaning of the Seventh Day (Berrien Springs, MI: Andrews University Press, 2009), 13.
123 Dorothy C. Bass, “Christian Formation in and for Sabbath Rest,” Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology 59 (January 2005), 31.
124 Elizabeth Newman, Untamed Hospitality: Welcoming God and Other Strangers (Grand Rapids: Brazos Press, 2007), 28-29.
125 Bass, “Christian Formation in and for Sabbath Rest”, 32.
126  “New technologies, in living rooms and in editing studios, are helping drive the pace of art and entertainment, just as they are driving the pace of virtually everything else in our work lives and our leisure time.” James Gleick, Faster: the Acceleration of Just About Everything (New York: Vintage Books, 2000), 174.
127 Peter L. and Brigitte Berger, The Homeless Mind: Modernization and Consciousness (New York: Vintage Books, 1974), 149-151.
128 Jacques Ellul, The Technological System (New York: Continuum, 1980), 250.
129 Tonstad, The Lost Meaning of the Seventh Day, 382. 
130 “Tout le malheur des hommes vient d’une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos, dans une chambre.” (Pensée #139) Blaise Pascal, Pensées (Nouv. éd. Paris: Hachette et cie, 1904), 54.
131 “Memory does not serve to arouse a psychological reaction of sympathy for slaves, rather quite a different theology of memory is at work. Israel is commanded to observe the sabbath in order to remember its slavery and deliverance. This connection is even more explicit in Ex 16:3. The festival arouses and excites the memory.” Childs, The Book of Exodus, 417.
132 Berger, The Homeless Mind, 184.
133 These trends have been studied and discussed from many different perspectives. I cite a few sources here but the literature on this is fairly extensive: Frank S. Furstenberg, “Coming of Age in a Changing Family System,” in At the Threshold: The Developing Adolescent, ed. S. Shirley Feldman and Glen R. Elliott (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1990), 148-159; Arlene Bowers Andrews, “Children and Family Life,” in Globalization and Children: Exploring Potentials for Enhancing Opportunities in the Lives of Children and Youth, ed. Natalie Hevener Kaufman and Irene Rizzini (New York: Kluster Academic Publishers, 2004), 73-75.
134 Secular research shows that marriage rates have fallen over the past century and the divorce rate has increased substantially. In addition, the social changes in the sixties and seventies have brought about the rise of cohabitation – a new form of “family life.” Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers, “Marriage and Divorce: Changes and their Driving Forces,” PSC Working Paper Series, University of Pennsylvania: Scholarly Commons, 2007, http://repository.upenn.edu/psc_working_papers/8 (accessed 18 April 2012), 1-2.
135 Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth, 121.
136 “Modern man does not know what to do with himself, how to spend his lifetime meaningfully, and he is driven to work in order to avoid an unbearable boredom. But work has ceased to be a moral and religious obligation in the sense of the middle-class attitude of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Something new has emerged. Ever-increasing production, the drive to make bigger and better things, have become aims in themselves, new ideals. Work has become alienated from the working person.” Erich Fromm, The Sane Society (New York: Rinehart, 1955), 179-180.
137 Pieper, Leisure the Basis of Culture, 73.
138 Josef Pieper, Leisure the Basis of Culture (London: Faber and Faber, 1952), 51. Note: I used the older translation here because I felt that the newer one lacked some of the precision and beauty of this definition.
139 CCC, 1832.
140 Redemptoris Missio, 37.
141 Evangelii Nuntiandi, 80.
142 Dawn, Keeping the Sabbath Wholly, 36.
143 According to some commentators, this passage suggests that the early Christians may have had a Lord’s Day tithing practice. “The direction to the church of Corinth, as to the Galatian churches, is that Sunday by Sunday each member should set aside a portion of his weekly income, so that when Paul arrives the money will be ready.” F.F. Bruce, 1 and 2 Corinthians (London: Oliphants, 1971), 158. And also: “The fact that Paul makes such a reference at all implies that there is some significance to their setting money aside on this day rather than, for example, ‘once a week.’” Gordon D. Fee, The First Epistle to the Corinthians (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1987), 813.
144 Dies Domini, 69.
145  “The kingdom aims at transforming human relationships; it grows gradually as people slowly learn to love, forgive and serve one another.” Redemptoris Missio, 15.
146 The blue laws were of Puritan origin, in the first colonies, but over time the term came to refer to all “Sunday closing laws.” They were meant to preserve the sanctity of Sunday by preventing commercial activities on that day. Peter D. Weinstein, ‘Blue Laws,’ in Encyclopedia Americana International Edition (Danbury, Conn.: Grolier Academic Reference, 2003), 107.
147 Paul Louis Lehmann, The Decalogue and a Human Future: the Meaning of the Commandments for Making and Keeping Human Life Human (Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 1995), 145.
148 Dies Domini, 57.
149 The term is derived from the Arabic word for ‘general assembly’ and has come to mean the ‘day of assembly.’ For Muslims this day is Friday when they are summoned to remember God and cease from business. “Many modern Muslim states have declared Friday an official day of rest.” Patrick D. Gaffney, ‘Friday Prayer,’ in Encyclopaedia of the Quran, edited by Jane Dammen McAuliffe, Claude Gilliot, and William Graham (Leiden: Brill Academic Pub, 2002), 272.
150 Christopher D. Ringwald, A Day Apart: How Jews, Christians, and Muslims Find Faith, Freedom, and Joy On the sabbath (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007), 125-126.
151 Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue, Dialogue and Proclamation, 41.
152 Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue, The Attitude of the Church Towards the Followers of Other Religions: Reflections and Orientations on Dialogue and Mission, 29.
153 Ibid., 35.
154 Ibid., 35.
155 “The need for belonging, the necessity of rest, and the encounter with something larger than oneself all find expression in the blessing of the seventh day. The Sabbath roots of our common humanity are beckoning all to join in the final homecoming. In the prophetic vision of the end, the Sabbath is put forward as a great unifier, transcending entrenched divisions, boundaries, and barriers (Isa. 56:1-7).” Tonstad, The Lost Meaning of the Seventh Day, 505.
156 Benedict XVI, In the Beginning…, 28.
157The critique of a prominent Evangelical leader and writer on the methods of the megachurch movement certainly suggests that this experiment has not been entirely successful. Os Guinness, Dining With the Devil: The Megachurch Movement Flirts With Modernity (Grand Rapids: Hourglass Books, 1993).
158 Dies Domini, 27.
159 Ibid., 28.
160 Ibid., 29.
161 Ibid., 84.
162 “Sustaining Christian life as it does, Sunday has the additional value of being a testimony and a proclamation. As a day of prayer, communion and joy, Sunday resounds throughout society, emanating vital energies and reasons for hope. Sunday is the proclamation that time, in which he who is the Risen Lord of history makes his home, is not the grave of our illusions but the cradle of an ever new future, an opportunity given to us to turn the fleeting moments of this life into seeds of eternity. Sunday is an invitation to look ahead; it is the day on which the Christian community cries out to Christ, ‘Maranatha: Come, O Lord!’ (1 Cor 16:22). With this cry of hope and expectation, the Church is the companion and support of human hope. From Sunday to Sunday, enlightened by Christ, she goes forward towards the unending Sunday of the heavenly Jerusalem, which ‘has no need of the sun or moon to shine upon it, for the glory of God is its light and its lamp is the Lamb’ (Rev 21:23).” Dies Domini, 84.
163 “This practice offers to Christians a set of activities (or nonactivities), done together week after week and century after century, that enact central Christian beliefs, shape specific patterns of communal life, and impart openness to the grace of God. Engaging in this rich and complex practice can shape persons and communities in distinctive ways and foster a way of being in the world that spills over to affect an entire way of life.” Bass, “Christian Formation in and for Sabbath Rest”, 26.
164 Heschel, The Sabbath, 101.

Nico Angleys grew up in France, just outside Geneva, in the Alps. He is a member of The Servants of the Word, an ecumenical brotherhood of men living single for the Lord. Nico is the UCO director of University Christian Outreach in North America. He currently lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. In May 2012 he completed his Masters in Theology at Sacred Heart Seminary, writing his thesis on the Keeping the Lord's Day Holy, copyright © 2012. Used with permission.

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