8 Remember the Sabbath day and treat it as holy. 9 Six days you may work and do all your tasks, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. Do not do any work on it—not you, your sons or daughters, your male or female servants, your animals, or the immigrant who is living with you. 11 Because the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and everything that is in them in six days, but rested on the seventh day. That is why the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
Remember the Sabbath day and treat it as holy. If we’re really honest, we think this is one of those commandments that doesn’t apply to us living in the twenty-first century. It’s one of the commandments we “sort of, kind of” follow. Maybe we go to church and think, “good, I hinted at the Sabbath.” Then we go outside and enjoy nature and or we play with the family or we just hang out at home doing nothing, and we think we’ve rested. These are great things to do on Sunday. Rest and relaxation are important to our health. Yet, I can’t help wondering, if how we respond to this commandment is a reflection of our relationship with God. What does remembering the Sabbath say about our relationship with God?
When God gave this commandment to “remember the Sabbath,” Israel had just been freed from slavery in Egypt. They went from unending work to receiving the gift of one day of rest in seven. Their entire households, animals, even immigrants were to rest. Each Sabbath the people were to remember that God had freed them from slavery to new life. This holy day of rest, honoring God, set Israel apart from all other people. Today we are not all able to have Sunday as a day of rest. All essential people, especially during this pandemic, keep us safe and the country running. But we can still remember all that God has done for us through Christ Jesus. The sacrifice of Jesus dying on the cross for our sins freed us from the slavery of sin and death to new life. Jesus is our Sabbath, and we find our rest in him.
By Jeneene Reduker
For Pondering & Prayer
All the commandments teach us about how to be in relationship with God and each other. The commandments tell us how to model loving behavior to God and others. This commandment to “remember” and to rest to us was so important to God that our Creator modeled the behavior for us to follow. God loves us, and wants us to stop and rest. Sabbath is an opportunity to be in God’s presence, to feel God’s love, and receive all the blessings and joys that the Lord wants for us.
Take a moment and remember all that God has done for you. How do you respond to this commandment? Where in your life do you need to follow the Sabbath example that God modeled for you?
Prayer: Loving God, you care for us and call us to be in relationship with you. Help us to remember the Sabbath and honor all that you have done for us through Jesus. Remind us to follow your example so that we may find our true rest in your Presence. Amen.