new life fellowship

serving jesus christ the king

A Day of Rest

The sound of silence, rather than the throaty roar of engines and the screech of tyres, settled over Donegal a couple of weekends ago. The final stages of the rally were cancelled as a mark of respect following the tragic death of Thomas Maguire from Co Meath, on the Knockalla stage on the Saturday.

That was the right and proper decision, I applaud the organisers for again having the decency to put respect for life before the spectacle of the event, and my sympathies go out to the Maguire family.

That Sunday evening in our fellowship we were considering the Bible’s teaching that God has given us Sunday, or the Lord’s Day, as a day to be set aside for him. He gives us that command for our physical and spiritual welfare. Since he made us, he knows best how we should live, and he knows that our ultimate joy is to be found in relationship with him. That’s why he calls us to set aside a day for spending time with him. It allows us to refocus and to recalibrate our thinking from the events of this world, with its passing joys, to the ultimate joy of knowing God, the maker of all joy.

As such, God is not attempting to be a spoilsport when he calls us to give one day to him, instead his concern is for our happiness.

Whenever Adam and Eve rebelled against God they broke this relationship for all of us. It took the intervention of Jesus, his death on the cross, to restore the possibility of this ultimate peace and joy to mankind. And because of his great triumph, although the Jews had been commanded to keep the seventh day sacred, the focus shifted to the first day, the day of Jesus’ resurrection, to help us remember his death and victory.

Something in us knows that in the face of tragedy, a rest from the regular activity is appropriate, as the events of the rally demonstrate. We rest to honour and to commemorate the person and their life. How much more is it appropriate then to rest when the person is not just human, but divine, and his life was lost in order that we might live, and his greatest goal in giving his life was that we might enjoy a right relationship with God. And if the earthly pinnacle of that relationship is found in giving a day to specifically enjoy this relationship with God, what are we saying to Jesus when we just continue with our own pleasure instead?

The rally organisers didn’t trample the memory of Thomas Maguire, but too often we trample over the very day given to remember Jesus and what his life, death and resurrection mean.