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Sunday, March 03, 2013

How Is Sunday Different?

I'm studying Sabbath. I'm reading through the Bible looking at the way Sabbath is treated and reading various histories of worship. But something struck me today (Sunday March 3). As we drove to a neighboring village for worship around 9:45 a.m. I noticed many of the stores, gas stations and tobacco stores were all open. It was a nice sunny day, so people were out, carrying bread loaves and bags of stuff.
But after church, after 12:00 p.m. nothing was open except for restaurants. Downtown Ales (main street pictured above) was deserted! All the shops were closed. There was ample parking, and hardly any cars on the streets. Now France is a pretty secular culture and I'm sure there are all sorts of reasons why everything is closed that I don't fully get. But it was quiet and restful. I was aware that store clerks were not working...thus having time off to rest in their own ways. It's a far cry from the world I know back home, where grocery stores are open Sunday till midnight and all shops are open till evening. Very little stops at home and a lot stops here. What does that mean for us and for them?

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