Dear Michael T,
I have often been anywhere from amused to intimidated by people who argue a lot about the Sunday thing. If I need rest on Sunday I take a nap. If I finally have a chance to get something done on the house, I do that. If I’m asked to work, I do if I can. If my family needs me or wishes me to do something with them, I will place that high priority.
That goes for every day, not just Sunday. I think the command to rest on the Sabbath was to guarantee that servants weren’t made to work every day without at least an occasional rest. Even if that’s wrong, that’s OK until somebody can come up with a better idea. The Ten Commandments are mostly relative anyway compared to strict behavioral interpretations, as Christ clearly tried to show us.
People spend a great deal of time fretting over whether they or others are sinning on Sundays. Here’s where I might sound like I am advocating an “individual conscience,” but what I am in fact advocating is each person figure it out for your own circumstance and don’t worry about if your situation is “approved” by others. (see quote from Romans below) If you’re breaking your neck every day seven days a week for months and running ragged and stranger to your family, then you have a problem. If you do a little work to feed yourself or to improve your shelter or whatever, then you are doing what Jesus let His followers do on the sabbath.
[quote=Rom 14:2-6]One person believes that one may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. The one who eats must not despise the one who abstains, and the one who abstains must not pass judgment on the one who eats; for God has welcomed him. Who are you to pass judgment on someone else’s servant? Before his own master he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand. (For) one person considers one day more important than another, while another person considers all days alike. Let everyone be fully persuaded in his own mind. Whoever observes the day, observes it for the Lord. Also whoever eats, eats for the Lord, since he gives thanks to God; while whoever abstains, abstains for the Lord and gives thanks to God.