sabbath keeping

August 11, 2022

Good afternoon,

” Sabbath is one of clearest signs of the gospel of grace. You intentionally accomplish nothing and God still loves you. ” Rich Villedos on Twitter” Remember the Sabbath, and keep it holy ” — the Fourth Commandment from Exodus 20

When I grew up in the 1960’s , we had the Blue Laws. Very few stores were open, and the malls were closed.
I assume that it was to give families the opportunity to have time together. There might have been pressure from the wider church to keep Sunday free from other events. Farmers were not to work outside of everyday chores for their animals. Farmers did not pick fruit on the Sabbath.

Everything has changed. But, Jesus changed the Sabbath too. Since it was one of the commandments , it was important for Jesus’ community. There was one commandment, and thousands of tiny laws trying to interpret every possibility of work and non-work on the Lord’s day. For example, you could not look into a mirror on the Sabbath, because you might pick off a hair from your scalp. For some interpreters this was work. The laws of the Sabbath became harsher and harsher. From Jesus’ point of view, it was being used by the leadership to control everyone else.

So, Jesus decided to throw it all up in the air. He healed people on the Sabbath, and did it in the synagogue !! He upset everyone’s understanding. Then, he took a few pieces of grain and picked them on the Sabbath. He preached on the Sabbath, and gave two illustrations saying people who were not part of God’s people were more faithful than those listening to his sermon in that synagogue in Nazareth. Jesus was a disturber of the peace.

The Sabbath was given to us as a rhythm to our lives.
We need to work, and we need to rest. My day off from work is supposed to be Monday. I have not always been restful on that day. Right now the Town Council meets Monday, so it is not quite restful. Sabbath rest is to keep us healthy, and focused on God. Do you have rhythm to your restful days ? How have you been able to maintain the right balance of work/rest so you will be healthy physically, spiritually and emotionally ? We need to rest in the Lord.

Grace and peace for our life together in faith.

Chaos in the winds
Scattering my troubled thoughts
to land on soft clouds            Monika Pieper Landoni 2022