The Lord’s Day

I don’t remember the young girl’s name that worked at the McDonalds on the north end of Shreveport, Louisiana, but I will be forever grateful to her. She was the individual that the Lord used to open my eyes once again to the importance of the Lord’s Day. I had been raised to respect the Lord’s Day by my Christian parents, and each Sunday found us in church, both on Sunday morning and Sunday night. I was not even allowed to play outside on Sunday afternoon as a child (I must admit that there were some inconsistencies since I was allowed to watch my hero, Mickey Mantle, play baseball on TV), although when I entered high school the strictures were loosened. By the time I had entered adulthood, eating out at a restaurant on Sunday (if Bonanza could be considered a restaurant) had become commonplace, even though I was a youth minister at a local church. After graduating from seminary and pastoring churches in Texas and Louisiana, my habits changed little; until 6:00AM on that fateful Sunday in 1997, that is.


I had left from home early that morning to go over my sermon notes and was going through the drive through to pick up an Egg McMuffin. The girl at the window looked at me and asked, “Are you a preacher?” “Is it that obvious?” I retorted. Then she said what changed my life forever, “Would you pray for me? I have had to work for the last three Sundays and haven’t been able to go to church. It is really starting to get me down.” I took her hand through the window and prayed with her, but left with more than an Egg McMuffin. I left with the burden of knowing that I was part of the reason why this Christian young lady was not able to worship God on His day with His people.


At my office I opened my Bible to Exodus 20:8-11: Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.


There it was, inserted right between “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain,” and, “Honor your father and mother.” How could I have missed it all those years? Did I fall asleep in class (that was known to happen from time to time) the day they covered the part about, “On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates?” God used that young lady to remind me that the same Law which said, “You shall not commit adultery,” also said, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.”


I realize that I will never be justified by the keeping of God’s Law because that is impossible. I can only be made right with God by His grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. However, as I rest in Christ’s finished work, I am reminded of the importance of all of God’s Moral Law in my daily life since Jesus so clearly said, “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.” (Matthew 5:17-18) Thank you, young lady, wherever you are, and thank you, Lord, for opening my eyes to the truth of Your Word.


May we rejoice tomorrow in that “Day of Rest and Gladness” that God so wisely gave us to gather with His covenant people and worship Him.


1 Comment

  1. Sandra A. said,

    March 16, 2009 at 12:18 PM

    Thank you, Brother Clifton, for this timely reminder. You are such a blessing to Jack and me.

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