Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. –Exodus 20:8
It was one year ago today that the World Council of Churches met and made an audacious proposal to the rest of the world:
They suggested that we add an eighth day to the week.
Since it was their idea, they decided to call the day “Sabbath-Day-OK-This-Time-We-Really-Mean-It”.
The scientists said “Sure, time is a human construction, and we can make it whatever we want.” So they eliminated January and February from the calendar, and did a few more tweaks here and there, and got us back to 365 days a year.
Non-churchgoers loved the idea of an extra long weekend every week. Business owners found that their productivity stayed strong as worker morale improved. And as for Christians, celebrating their “Sabbath-Day-OK-This-Time-We-Really-Mean-It”?
Attendance went down.
That’s right. Attendance figures just came out for the past year, and worship in American churches has dropped another tenth of a percent.
It would appear that with more time on the weekend people just did more stuff. More visiting with the grandkids. More time for yardwork. More camping trips or sleeping in.
A tired-looking president of the World Council of Churches issued a statement just moments ago:
“Well, fellow Christians, we tried. We cleared a whole extra day for you to keep the Sabbath, but you just keep doing other things! As of today I am resigning my position. I’m looking forward to a nice long break, and this weekend I plan to go visit my grandkids.”
Rumors of a proposed ninth day of the week movement has met with much criticism. As one Christian said, “Honestly? I think they could add five more Sabbaths every week and it still wouldn’t make a difference. Worship and rest is still a priority for people, but it’s just not the only priority, and not always on Sunday. I love to go to church, but I’ve got other things I want to do, too. So I do my best to balance it out.”
And so, the Eight Days A Week movement, as it has been called, was a success for everybody except the people who proposed it in the first place. Lately, there’s been talk about moving back to the old system. People miss Martin Luther King Jr Day and Valentine’s Day in particular.
As for my humble take on things, I think the church is going to be okay, and I think Christians are going to be okay, but not without some tough times along the way. Our society has definitely steered away from notions of Holy rest and worship, things God says we clearly need.
I predict people will still gather for worship on the Sabbath, but maybe we need to focus our efforts towards teaching people how to be Holy…
on the other six days.
Whichever calendar you’re using.
Have a good week,