Growing up not far from Shepherd Mall in shallow north OKC, I recall many trips on my bicycle to the Mall. We would check out the latest toys in “T.G. & Y.” Sporting goods stores also capture the fancy of young boys looking for a new baseball glove or a new basketball for use in the driveway. Stone’s IGA anchored the east end of the Mall. We tagged along for countless “grocery shopping trips.”
In my early years I recall many stores being closed on Sunday. I later learned there were “blue laws” that dictated what could be open and what must be closed on Sundays. After all, Sunday was the new sabbath for many a Christian and we would need to help regulate activities so as not to defame the holy day.
Now many years later, Shepherd Mall more resembles a sprawling office complex rather than the home of JC Penny and Dillard’s as well as a movie theater. Were Shepherd Mall a normal Mall today, it would bustle on Sundays rather than simply provide walking space from the Cafeteria to the car.
What changed? Our culture changed. Did we Christians fail to hold the line and retreat into our homes and church buildings never to intersect the increased pace of life that now includes many a youth sporting event on a Sunday? Or, did we realize that Jesus said the “sabbath” was made for man and not man for the “sabbath?” Or did we realize the critical issue for sabbath observance was not “inactivity” as much as a change in the kind of “activity?” Are we less Christian today because we do not observe things on Sunday the way we once did? Are we less committed followers of Christ because we failed to maintain legislation once equated with what it was to live in a Christian Nation?
My musings about blue laws really grows from wrestling with what about our faith is more cultural than scriptural and what should win the day. Growing up in an extremely convservative Christian environment, do I now find that much of what I considered Scriptural really was preferential? If so, what do we learn and what do we teach?
I am thinking Scripture should win the day – regardless of what I once preferred, and still may prefer.