You Work Too Much

Lou Lotz

READ : Exodus 20:8-11

Remember the sabbath day . . . (v. 8)

I can remember my God-fearing grandfather saying that if you were going to engage in any activity on Sunday, it had to be the kind of activity that could be done while wearing a suit. I can also remember my grandfather tending his vegetable garden on Sunday afternoons, wearing a suit.

There was a lot of senseless legalism in old-fashioned Sabbath observance. But there was also a lot of wisdom. The fourth commandment invites us to get in sync with the rhythm of life: work and worship, service and Sabbath, labor and rest. How many of us go around saying: “I keep working and working, yet it seems like I only fall farther behind!” The problem is not that we work too little, but that we work too much. We’re out of sync – all labor and no rest, all service and no Sabbath.

The fourth commandment strikes a blow at our idolatrous worship of our own work. Sunday rest is a confession that God’s work in the world is more important than our work. Life goes on, even when we cease our labors. The Sabbath is God’s gift, a day of worship and wonder, a day to cease striving, to let go, let be, and know that we are tightly held even when we do not tightly hold.


Thank you, Father, for the gift of the Sabbath.