Sundays, in this passage, are to be set aside for the cultivation of the inner work that is study, or lectio divina. I find it fascinating that our own society at large, until very recently, regarded Sundays as a day set aside for "rest"--stores closed, family gathered, home-cooked meals shared, etc. But a dominant attitude in this recent memory is an entitlement to leisure, or idleness, on Sundays--watching football from the couch, reading the Sunday comics, long naps, etc. It seems that the days and weeks of most people in our culture are spent between frenetic busyness and complete idleness. Instead of balancing our time between mindful work, prayer, and study, we are consumed by tasks, one after another, until the sun goes down and we crash in front of some screen. Sunday, for many, is a whole day set aside for vegetative leisure, in or out of church.
What might it look like if we were to build into our attitude about Sundays the value of cultivating our inner life rather than the value of leisure? How might such a value gain a foothold in our lives? The key, I propose, is to establish an order for the other days of the week that does not deplete, but generates and nourishes our internal resources for the work of the soul.