Between head and heart

According to the Winnipeg Free Press, the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce is urging the Manitoba government to remove all Sunday-shopping restrictions and let retailers set their own hours.
“The Chamber has had a long-standing policy that Manitoba retailers should have the same ability to decide when they open based on consumer demand, as retailers in other provinces do,” C of  C president and CEO Dave Angus said in a written statement. “This is simply about giving Manitobans more choice and added convenience.”
It used to be that no store would even think of being open on Sundays. That was the way it was and it seemed to be rooted in Christian tradition and then the Lord’s Day Act.
There are several problems with that approach. One is Sunday is not the Sabbath, Saturday is. The other is that restricting activities on Sunday has always been half-hearted at best. If you worked in a hospital, a mental institution, a jail, a nursing home or as a policeman, Sunday was pretty much another day, all day.
When technology and the market place demanded highly efficient manufacturing, 24-7 became the norm. Many years ago, I am told, the trains stopped on Sundays. Now everything that moves, moves every day.
A tradition of Christian influenced legislation has a been Sunday shopping restrictions. The hypocrisy of that has been that a majority of Christians troop off to the restaurant right after the Sunday church service. The Christian church has tried to legislate Christianity into peoples’ heads rather than teach it into peoples’ hearts.
When Jesus was asked what is the greatest commandment, he said in Matthew 22:36-40: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.’”
   The Ten Commandments say in Exodus 20:2-17 “You shall have no other gods before me.
“You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 
You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
“Honour your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you. “You shall not murder. “You shall not commit adultery. “You shall not steal “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbour. “You shall not covet your neighbour’s house. You shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbour.”
Doesn’t say much about Sunday shopping in there. In fact, the only reference to anything remotely close would be, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy,” and again that’s Saturday if the truth be known. Strangely enough, if you ask people if they want to work Sunday, most will say, “No, it’s a family day.” A family day sounds pretty close to a “day of rest” or a Sabbath to me.
God gives the above two sets of verses as a guide to living our lives. It takes a lifetime to understand the second set. One can keep coming back to them and in so doing draw closer to God. In the intervening time, the first set provides the short notes version: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment, etc. (see above).”
And what about attending church services on Sunday? Maybe churches should be open seven days a week too. 

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kwaddell@kenwaddell.ca This is a Sunrize Group internet solution (204)226-2247