The Best Day for Business
Each person’s life reveals his beliefs — sometimes uncomfortably so, when what he does contradicts what he claims to believe. One outstanding belief that should affect people’s lives in a noticeable and outward way is Sabbath-keeping. Both Jews and an increasing number of Christians say that the seventh day of the week is the Sabbath. And they know the seventh day has the common name of Saturday, not Sunday. Shouldn’t Saturday be a much different day for them, given the Sabbath’s great importance in the Scriptures?
Sabbath-keeping results from believing that the fourth commandment, about the Sabbath, is still a command to be obeyed, just as honoring parents, not stealing, and the rest of the commandments. Further, it is a sign to be held up to the world of who God’s people are. Therefore, in the case of Sabbath-keeping, obeying and believing amount to the same thing.
Speak also to the children of Israel, saying: “Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the LORD who sanctifies you.” (Exodus 31:13)
Surely Jews and “Sabbath-keeping” Christians own many businesses, so you should see “Closed on Saturday” or “Closed on the Sabbath” signs everywhere. Even though it’s the best day for doing business and making money (since everyone takes this day off to go shopping, go out to eat, and have a good time), all those who honor their Creator ought to rest on this day. Interestingly, according to the words of the commandment in Exodus 20, they are to give their servants (employees) rest, too. Yes, that is what the Word of God says quite clearly. Read Exodus 20:8-11 for yourself and see. Therefore, you can’t use hired hands to “work around” the prohibition of laboring on the Sabbath!
Look around. There aren’t many “Closed on the Sabbath” signs, are there? I’ve hardly seen any in my lifetime, let alone anything near the number of businesses that should be closed if “Sabbath-keepers” actually kept the Sabbath. Remember, real faith is revealed by one’s life — the deeds he does. Pretended faith needs no visible or tangible expression.
These opening paragraphs are drawn from an article in our Freepaper, “Constantine, Servant of God?” All the articles in this paper, such as “The Sign of the Sabbath” on page 3, are about the significance of our Father’s and our Master’s words concerning keeping the Sabbath, which is far from the “least of these commandments” (Matthew 5:19). So what of the great sign of the Sabbath? Shall we esteem it very highly or set it aside? There has been controversy about this for many centuries.
Far from being the least of the commandments, it is the most extensive of the Ten Commandments, by far, and is often the subject of prophecy, and even more often the reason for prophetic rebuke to the people of Israel. Therefore, according to the Savior’s words, anyone seeking to be great in the kingdom of heaven will keep it and teach others to do so as well:
Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:17-19)
It is the one commandment the Savior highlighted above all the rest by saying, “For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”
Therefore, recently in Vista, when you walked up to our Yellow Deli, you would have been greeted with this cheery sign, letting you know that your favorite place to eat and study was…
Being closed from Friday afternoon (when we normally close for the Sabbath), September 14, to Wednesday evening, September 26, was a longer time than our other Yellow Delis were closed for Yom Kippur, as we in Vista had some additional pressing needs to take care of during this time. Perhaps, though, it is an indication of where we are going as a people in the coming years. It was an awesome time for us to consider our ways and to afflict our souls (Leviticus 23:27-29) in preparation for Yom Kippur.
When we reopened that Wednesday evening, it was in a way we have not ever done before. Gathered before our guests was not only the entire evening shift of the Yellow Deli, but almost our entire community. We sang with all of our hearts the song that expresses so well our hope, not just for Yom Kippur, but for our whole life as a people. We shared with our guests a moment out of time, beyond the cares of this life… Indeed, it was a foretaste of the age to come!
In the Golden Fall
In the quiet vineyard, where the vines are full,
And the grapes have ripened, in the golden fall.
In the calm of twilight, in the cooling rains,
He has come to gather, all that will remain.
All the vines will glisten, to reflect His face.
He will gently take them, to admire their grace.
And in His great kindness, He will trim the vines.
He will gently prune them, for His delight.
The seasons pass as quickly as they came; yet, we remain.
If He will prune, or if He takes away; still from our heart comes a song.
Through our lives we’re changing, as we’re loved by those,
Who will bring the cutting, so we can grow.
Our song will ring forth, throughout all the earth
Starting in His vineyard — through the universe!
A song of victory and gain,
a song of joy and not of pain,
A song of praise.
A song of loyalty to Him,
a song of love that never ends,
A song of peace.
As the song surged out of our courts onto the streets, people were drawn to the sound. It was a new sound. Cars stopped in the streets to listen. People took videos and pictures, as on and on we sang. Sharing our faith and our joy with those within hearing, we gave an offering from our hearts. Peace reigned. The Yellow Deli was open again. You’re all welcome!
For the Twelve Tribes, from the Community in Vista,
First published as Newsletter 8 on October 9, 2012.