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Sports and the Sabbath

Sports and the Sabbath

In a time when professional athletes are practically venerated by our culture and sporting events resemble a form of religious practice, it is thought-provoking to see the Vatican taking on the issue. A recent document, entitled “Giving the Best of Yourself,” explains the church's rationale for encouraging participation in competitive sports.

The essay, published by the church, explains how sports are a good way to build family ties and develop stable communities. It also includes a section about sporting events held on Sunday— stating that “such events must not excuse families from attending Mass and should also promote the life of the family within the community.” The importance of family, community, and culture is clearly a key issue here.

In the early Christian church, the adoption of Sunday as a festival day was the beginning of the transition that led the church away from the seventh-day Sabbath to Sunday as the day of worship. In its act of apostasy, church leadership eventually began to force the issue of Sunday worship on the rank and file. Bible prophecy declares that the enforcement of Sunday worship will again be a factor in the final apostasy that occurs during the last days of earth’s history.

We are called to follow Christ, to maintain His culture, a culture of worship and service. Christ calls us to honor His holy day, to preserve it as a memorial of His work of creation and redemption. It is not a day for token worship or mere building community—it is holy time, set aside for building a relationship with our Creator, a relationship that will bring us joy only if we will enter in with total commitment.

Explore more about God’s plan for keeping the Sabbath holy.