O Day of Rest and Gladness ~ Hymn 393

By: Alan Harvey

Posted: October 8, 2019

Category: Daily Devotional

Devotions Based on Hymns from Glory to God and Their Scriptural Allusions

READ: Leviticus 23:3

“Six days shall work be done; but the seventh is a sabbath of complete rest, a holy convocation; you shall do no work; it is a sabbath to the Lord, throughout your settlements.”

Leviticus 23:3 (NRSV)

You know, I can remember when I used to think the age of sixty-five was old. It is interesting how your perspective can change as mine did on August 8, 2019. I was excited to get my Medicare card, but I also thought I was too young to be getting one.

You know, I can remember when Sundays were vastly different from the way they are observed today. Back in the 1960s most department stores were closed on Sundays. Grocery and drug stores were also not open for business. Gas stations and restaurants were usually open. After attending church on Sunday morning, we customarily had a big dinner with much of the cooking done on Saturday. Last minute preparations were done to complete the meal.

After dinner, storing leftovers and clean up, we often sat down with my grandparents, aunts, and cousins who may have come from neighboring towns to enjoy conversation, read the newspaper, play games, watch some television, or take a walk. The day was spent in leisurely activities. Sometimes I had to do homework for school that I had not done earlier. And how could I forget the Sunday afternoon nap? We relaxed. We enjoyed some recreation. We were refreshed and renewed. And that is how it should be!

There are days when I become rather nostalgic for Sundays as they used to be, and I am reminded of how God intended us to spend that day. To reclaim that feeling, I realize I need to change what have now become habits and embrace the former way of spending Sundays. It will be a challenge to reinstate limitations when things have changed so much. One thing that I will not have to change is the Sunday afternoon nap because I have continued that practice for years. I am convinced that it is good for my health and well-being.


O day of rest and gladness, O day of joy and light, O balm for care and sadness, most beautiful, most bright; on you the high and lowly, through ages joined in tune, sing ‘Holy, holy, holy’ to the great God triune.


O God, we thank You that Jesus taught us that the sabbath was made for us and not us for the sabbath. Help us to be good stewards of this holy day so we may be refreshed and rested to tackle the work You give us this week to do. In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen.