Friday, July 23, 2010

Sabbath Independence Day

Thoughts on observing a Sabbath Independence Day (Part 1)

This year the Fourth of July fell on a Sunday. Lost Boy and I had a few conversations about how we were going to spend the day.

Traditionally, Lost Boy’s family helps set up and take down the road blocks for the local parade. Service is a good Sabbath activity, but some of the family (the moms and the little kids) usually watch the parade instead of trail it. Lost Boy and I decided not to spend the morning apart.

I haven’t been able to watch fireworks with Lost Boy since we were dating in 2006 because he works as a security guard in the evenings, including (especially) holidays. But is the bustle, noise, and frenetic excitement of going to a community fireworks show, or of setting off fireworks in your driveway, really a reverent Sabbath activity? Everyone has the right to their own opinion, but we felt that our answer was no.

As we were sitting in testimony meeting* at church a sister mentioned that she was sad the local parade was being held on the Fourth – on the Sabbath – instead of on Saturday. I was a little sad too, because I had been looking forward to going to the parade with my nieces and nephews. I considered the decision we made to not attend the parade and I started to wonder if the normal parade attendance was lower because of people going to church instead of going to the parade. I don’t know. I kind of hope so because  what better way is there to observe and celebrate independence day than to take advantage of one of the freedoms the founders of our country fought for: the freedom of religion – to worship where, when, and how we choose? At first I thought that it would be unpatriotic to not go the parade or to have fireworks, but then I thought, how can it be unpatriotic to take advantage of religious freedom by worshiping God and observing the Sabbath? It felt pretty good to realize that by practicing my religion in the way that I feel is best I am being a patriotic citizen and respecting the sacrifices that were made to make my country free.

*In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, one Sunday a month the congregation fasts together and during that Sacrament Meeting there are no assigned speakers; the pulpit is open to anyone in the congregation who feels impressed to get up and share their testimony – their witness of Jesus Christ, his gospel, or any aspect thereof that is particularly important to them at the time.

Thoughts on observing a Sabbath Independence Day (Part 1)
Thoughts on observing a Sabbath Independence Day (Part 2)

1 comment:

  1. I love your footnote with info about our church. I have a friend who does something similar. She hyperlinks it to the church website either using the A-Z index or whatever it is she was talking about. Way to inform people about our church!