The Sabbath, the Stranger, and Commodification

An article I wrote about the Sabbath and undocumented immigrants is now up at UnDocumented.tv.

Does anyone keep the Sabbath anymore? I’ve come to the conclusion that the fourth commandment is the most ignored of the Ten Commandments. If we did keep Sabbath, I wonder how our thoughts about our undocumented neighbors might change.

The Old Testament books of Exodus and Deuteronomy each contain the Ten Commandments. In both books the forth commandment is relatively the same – Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. – but the rationale for a weekly day of rest and worship is different. In Exodus (20:8-11) the people’s work is to cease because God ceased the work of creation on the seventh day. In Deuteronomy (5:12-15) work ceases as a testimony to the people’s new identity; they once were slaves in Egypt but had been rescued by God’s “mighty hand and an outstretched arm.”

In these two versions of the fourth commandment we find two profound reasons for stopping our work for weekly rest and worship. First, we are reminded of the character of the God in whose image we are made. Second, we are reminded of our former identity as slaves and our new identity as the people of God.

Read the rest on the UnDocumented.tv site.

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David Swanson
David Swanson is the pastor of New Community Covenant Church [Bronzeville] on Chicago's South Side. He blogs often and has authored countless articles for prominent Christian publications.

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