We all know the story of the beginning. How God made everything in six days and then rested. The Pharisees also knew the creation story and found resting on the seventh day, or the Sabbath, a good thing. This may have been the first culture to even think of a day off. But they made it ‘work’ to be certain you did not work. All meals would have to be prepared the day before. Shucking a few heads of grain became work. Starting a fire resembled blacksmithing. So additional rules were made to make sure you follow the primary goal of not working on the Sabbath. We, too, sometimes get confused as to what is work on the Sabbath.
People stress about how not to work on Sunday. I think there should be some flexibility involved with the interpretation of the word work. For example, medical personnel, civil servants, and others need to work on Sunday. You would be very upset if you suffered a stroke and an EMT said we do not work on Sunday. Of course, but then you offer that all the department stores do not need to be open on Sunday. At one time in our culture, that is probably true. But think a moment, did not just imply a Pharisaical rule. The rule would not read you have to make all your purchases before Sunday because buying something on Sunday is work. If people work throughout the week the only time to purchase school supplies, medicine, or food may just well be Sunday.
What gives you pleasure and a chance to relax and spend time with God. “Working” on your car or home? An outing with family to a park or theater (which means someone is working for you to have pleasure)? I would suggest you not bring “work” home from “work”, but there may be times you have to do that. Then find another time or day that you can offer yourself to God for some quiet time. That is what flexibility means – prioritizing God in your life so that you “work” when needed and take time to rest as God offers.
May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen