Business as Usual on Sunday?

Back in 1869, Timothy Eaton decided that it was only proper that the windows of his store be draped on Sunday so that there would no worldly attraction for the public. Just a few years ago this policy changed without any objections from the window shopping public. Gone are many customs of the past. How many still have Sabbath preparation? On Saturday evening the shoes were to be polished in readiness for Sunday, potatoes and vegetables were to be all ready for the Sunday meal, that there might be a minimum of labor on the Lord’s Day. The Christian tradition of observing the Lord‘s Day has been very much the history of the province of Ontario, as it has in all the other Canadian provinces, and indeed in most countries of the Western world.

Alarming is the trend that wants to abolish the Sunday. The hue and cry is: We dont want to be dictated by a Christian minority. Why be bothered with Victorian blue laws? I don’t think however, that Sunday abolitionists quite realize the implications of their reasoning.

First, there is still a substantial minority in Ontario who attend a Christian church regularly. Their right of Sunday worship should be protected.

Next, Sunday observance is virtually universal. There are but few countries in the world in which Sunday has not been chosen as a uniform pause day by legislature. Concern about a seven-day work week goes back as far 320 A.D. when Constantine legislated a common day of rest. Not only countries with a Christian tradition but also countries that can hardly be classified as Christian in nature have Sunday laws. The U.S.S.R., for example, established Sunday as the pause day (or “day off”) by an edict of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet in 1940. The Canadian Ambassador in Moscow informed the Ontario Law Reform Commission, which studied the “Sunday Observance legislation in effect in Ontario in all of its aspects,” that Sunday is officially a day of rest, recreation, cultural education, amusement, and political activity. Even in Japan, a country where Christians have never been more than a very tiny minority, three separate regulations exist requiring Sunday to be a day of rest. The 6rst regulation was promulgated in 1876.

Third, Sunday has still a social function even for non-church going people. A pause day is desperately needed in our rushed age. Just think of the feverish hurry and hustle of so many during the week. Shouldnt a person take a day off for complete relaxation? When a man disregards the day of rest he will suffer for it.

Of many these Hnes could be truthfully spoken:

Who spent his health to get his wealth, And then with might and main He turned around and spent his wealth To get his health again.

Family life needs a common day of rest. The present tendency of many industries to introduce shift work hampers regular and harmonious family life. Family life is in jeopardy already as it is. Why create more problems by having business “as usual” on Sunday? Why burden families with the added strain of a seven-day work week? Abraham Lincoln wrote: “As we keep, or break, the Sabbath day, we nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope by which man rises.” We need a common day off to give family and friends the opportunity to have fellowship with one another.

Don‘t let the pressure of the almighty dollar force us to do away with Sunday observance. Six days are enough to hunt for the dollar. The SOS signal should be given now! Save Our Sunday!

As a Christian I want to keep Sunday as the Lord’s Day. I observe it because God wills it and is honored by it. Let those of different persuasion at least consider the practical reasons for Sunday observance. Business as usual on Sunday? Let it be taboo!