No Work on Sunday


In modern America, it is common to see farmers out working on Sundays.  It is a grievous sight, a mark of the loss of trust in God’s provision and a sign of covetousness that makes the farm no more what it used to be.

Yesterday (Sunday), the neighboring farmer who supplies our hay came over telling us that rain was coming on Monday morning and that we needed to come and pick up the hay that he baled (foolishly) on Saturday. We told him “No. We do not work on Sunday.” He got angry and told us that rain was coming and if the hay got rained on, we’d have to pay for it.  We said, “We will get the hay on Monday morning.  We are not working on Sunday.  No.”

Rain was indeed in the forecast, with a 30% chance of rain between 3-5am, and an 80% chance after 10am, but we kept Sunday holy. I went to bed Sunday night knowing that the hay might get rained on and, yes, we would pay for it if it did, even though it could not be stored.  Our neighbor put us in a bind, foolishly cutting his hay on a Friday, with rain coming Monday.  THAT is why it appeared work needed to be done on a Sunday–not because it did.  So, we took a $150 risk for righteousness’ sake.

This morning (Monday) my wife and I were awakened by the sound of a new baby lamb born just outside our window–a beautiful, healthy Leicester Longwool ewe lamb from a young mother who was the last to breed in our flock.  I looked outside  to check on the lamb and saw that everything was dry.  God told us not to work on Sunday and, as Jesus said, “Your heavenly Father knows you need these things.”  There was no risk because God provides for us and the rain is His servant, not our master.

The hay is being picked up right now by my sons and everything is fine.  Once again, trusting in God proves me right and shames those who oppose God’s commands.  We do not need to work on Sunday. God will never require it of us and He has commanded us to trust in His providence and to never fear Mammon’s threats.  Not only did my neighbor make a fool of himself, he also lost his biggest hay buyer.  In fact,  last year, we bought ALL of his hay, but we’re going to leave him to see what good working on Sunday brings him and his impious talk.

If any man is a Christian, whether he be Catholic or Protestant, he breaks with all Christian tradition when he abandons the command to rest on the Lord’s Day.  The Westminster Confession, published by Reformed Christians in the 17th century, speaks eloquently on the subject (emphases mine):

“VII. As it is the law of nature, that, in general, a due proportion of time be set apart for the worship of God; so, in His Word, by a positive, moral, and perpetual commandment binding all men in all ages, He has particularly appointed one day in seven, for a Sabbath, to be kept holy unto him: which, from the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ, was the last day of the week: and, from the resurrection of Christ, was changed into the first day of the week, which, in Scripture, is called “the Lord’s Day”, and is to be continued to the end of the world, as the Christian Sabbath.

VIII. This Sabbath is to be kept holy unto the Lord when men, after a due preparing of their hearts, and ordering of their common affairs beforehand, do not only observe an holy rest all the day from their own works, words, and thoughts about their worldly employments and recreations, but also are taken up the whole time in the public and private exercises of His worship, and in the duties of necessity and mercy.”

Note that Sunday is not a day for idleness, but a day when our personal business is set aside for the care of our souls, and of those around us.  It is not a day for self-indulgence at others’ expense (e.g., dining out and making others work for our leisure), or for rest and leisure as ends in themselves.  It is a day for religion, a taste of heaven on earth that God commands us to cultivate and enjoy.

This teaching does not come from men, but from God who says so through the prophet Isaiah:

“If thou…call the sabbath a delight, the holy day of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour Him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words.  Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.” (Isaiah 58:13)

Beatitudes Farm will always be closed on Sunday.

William Michael
Beatitudes Farm

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4 Responses to No Work on Sunday

  1. Kellie Rykowsky says:

    I’m struggling with how to keep Sunday holy and not be idle. Would you mind giving some real-life examples of what this looks like? Thanks!

    • wmclaa says:

      Well, we can certainly begin with what NOT to do, and most families need to start there. The day is to be “holy”, therefore we shouldn’t be doing things on it that are not “holy”. It is not a day off for pleasure-seeking. It is a day off from secular work for the sake of our spiritual lives. It is not NFL or NASCAR day. It is supposed to be a day for total Christianity, with God’s own promise that taking this one day in seven off from worldly work will not cause us to lose our daily bread. Again, though, when Americans work only 5 days, it’s not surprising that they feel that “the economy” isn’t working. God never said to work five days and take two days off.

      Once we get all the weeds out, then we can start talking about what activities need to be planted in our Sundays. There should be a schedule, for sure, and regular activities planned for the sabbath that are proper to it. People complain about the lack of Christian culture, but there has never been Christian culture where the Lord’s Day has been neglected.

      How does a Christian read the Ten Commandments, and say, “Yes, I’m keeping the third commandment.” if they’re not? It’s strange how these things are assumed to be kept when there is no way to explain how it is being kept.


      • Kellie Rykowsky says:

        My husband does the five day work week, but Saturday is a day for us to run errands or do work at home. We try to get everything done, so we don’t have to do it on Sunday, although that doesn’t always happen. Most Sundays after Mass, we visit family or just hang out at home. We want to be more purposeful about how we spend the day, but don’t know what to do!

      • wmclaa says:

        Yes, we have to be careful that Saturday doesn’t become a play/waste day and then Sunday is used as preparation day for Monday. That’s the norm for most people.

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