The invitation to the Holiday Party for my law school faculty was in my mailbox yesterday. It’s scheduled for a Sunday. This is completely predictable. Even though academics have more than a month away from the classroom in December and January, we cannot seem to have these holiday parties on any day but Sunday. At my prior law school, I begged the Dean to have the party on another day because it was geared toward children (Santa and the works!). He was a great guy, and we are friends, so he did it once, but opposition to the change was too strong. But I am pretty strict on this; unless the gathering is explicitly religious in orientation — almost never in this context — I skip these parties.
I am not a person who has a list of Sabbath-appropriate activities. Instead of detailed rules, I rely on a general standard. My view, simply stated, is that the Sabbath is a day to “enter into His rest.” We should engage in activities that bring us spiritually into the presence of God. Since Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden, the principal goal of all spiritually minded people has been to get back in. The Sabbath has been designated as a regular opportunity to do just that. In my view, those who do not honor the Sabbath are rejecting the chance to be with God.