In those days I saw people in Judah treading winepresses on the Sabbath and bringing in grain and loading it on donkeys, together with wine, grapes, figs and all other kinds of loads. And they were bringing all this into Jerusalem on the Sabbath. Therefore I warned them against selling food on that day. People from Tyre who lived in Jerusalem were bringing in fish and all kinds of merchandise and selling them in Jerusalem on the Sabbath to the people of Judah. I rebuked the nobles of Judah and said to them, “What is this wicked thing you are doing—desecrating the Sabbath day? Didn’t your ancestors do the same things, so that our God brought all this calamity on us and on this city? Now you are stirring up more wrath against Israel by desecrating the Sabbath.”
Reflection. There is a line in the book of Ecclesiastes that 'nothing is new under the sun.' Nehemiah is having to contend with 'Sabbath Trading.' Nehemiah won his Spiritual and practical battle. Of course, Sunday Trading laws are a battle the churches lost...So, the question for us is how do we make the Lord's Day the special and holy day it should, must, ought to be? At least, at the very least, let's keep it holy in our hearts. Nehemiah went on to close the city gates on the Sabbath. Let's find ways to Find One and open the doors of our buildings on more days of the week. Let's make holy spaces and places. Let's welcome folk through our gates.
Prayer. Lord God Almighty help me to keep your day holy. Amen