Amazon and delivering on the Lord’s Day

Branson Parler

Marta L.
November 21, 2013

I think I see things a little differently from you, because as a graduate student I haven't had a very set schedule. It's often difficult for me to schedule deliveries of packages since I don't know in advance that I will be at home to receive them at certain times. And as I'm in an apartment with no doorman, they can't simply leave it on my doorstop; they must be buzzed in, and if it's electronics or something expensive they need me to be there to sign for it.

All of which makes waiting for the Mr. USPS feel more like an act of Sabbath-observance rather than Sabbath-breaking. I must commit to a certain time window when I won't be running around doing errands or having fun or over on campus getting work done. I think a lot more people fall into this category than you may think. It's not the 1950s where there's a housewife able to accept packages all day long, or certainly a neighbor who can do it for you. For a lot of people, it's a real difficulty to accept delivery on other days. If anything, Sunday delivery might encourage people to take a breather and hang out at home on a Sunday afternoon, rather than filling their schedule with yet more busy-ness.

The labor concerns are a bigger problem, to mind. If we lived in a world where people normally had Sunday off I would probably fit differently. The thing is, we don't. In any event, it seems like a very separate issue than your larger concern about how this change feeds into our get-it-to-me-now culture.

Andrew Gilmore
November 23, 2013

I understand your point, and it is an a tough question.

I think that first we should remember that the "Sabbath" is Saturday. Jesus never said to switch to Sunday; it's just tradition. If we Christians are going to be legalistic about it, we should take that into consideration.

On the other hand, we must also be sensitive to those who labor on "the Lord's day". We sometimes take for granted the freedom we have as Monday - Friday workers, patronizing supermarkets and restaurants on Sundays.

It's a sensitive balance. I think it's useful to view the 4th commandment in light of the greatest commandments. We must reconcile with ourselves and with God how our actions would best reflect an attitude of loving God and loving others.

If we use those mandates as our guides, we can't go wrong.

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