Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.Exodus 20:8-11 & 31:14-17 and Mark 2:23-28
Observe the Sabbath, because it is holy to you, Anyone who desecrates it is to be put to death; those who do any work on that day must be cut off from their people.
One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields, and as his disciples walked along, they began to pick some heads of grain. 24 The Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?”
25 He answered, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need? 26 In the days of Abiathar the high priest, he entered the house of God and ate the consecrated bread, which is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions.”
27 Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. 28 So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”
I originally wrote this for Moms on a snow day; however,
I thought with the quarantine of 2020, it was appropriate!
So I rewrote a bit of it so it would be relevant for you today!
I remember a time more than 20 years ago. All three girls were in school and I was working full time. I had taken on starting a children’s church in our home congregation and “Crossroads to Glory” was in her 2nd or 3rd year (which meant I was rehearsing at least 4 hours a week and performing at least 2 weekends each month). Looking back, I’m thinking to myself, “were you CRAZY or what?!?”
One Friday or Saturday evening, the band had made arrangements to go to a Christian concert in Pittsburgh. We were all really looking forward to going, except I was exhausted and really didn’t see much end to my hectic life anywhere in site. Part of me just wanted to say, “go on without me, I’m just going to hang out here tonight.” But I didn’t want to miss the fellowship and didn’t want Steve and the girls to miss just because of me.
I remember on the day of the concert I woke up not feeling too well and by mid-afternoon I knew for sure that I had a serious case of the stomach flu. I wasn’t going anywhere. Everyone left and at one point I found myself sitting on the floor in the bathroom with my head over the toilet. That’s when it hit me (I have these crazy revelations at the strangest times). There was a purpose in the Sabbath.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I NEVER miss church, almost to the point I had become terribly prideful of the fact. But as I sat there on the floor getting nothing done, (because as you can imagine, when I’d originally thought about staying home, it was so that I could catch up on all the things I’d fallen behind on) I realized it had been a long time since I’d had a Sabbath.
When we read about the Sabbath in the Old Testament, it sounds like God is being pretty demanding and even a bit unrealistic. However, after spending a good bit of time pondering this Sabbath thing (much of it while I was hanging my head over the toilet), I realize that God’s severe threats in Exodus were only to emphasize how important it is for us to have some time for rest and relaxation. My musing also caused me to wonder if “put to death” isn’t more a warning of what we are doing to ourselves when we ignore our need for a Sabbath.
On the day I originally wrote this, the snow fell steadily. Meetings were postponed, lessons cancelled and many had to call off work. That year we were tired of snow days. And now we’re dealing with this quarantine. It’s worse than snow days. But perhaps, much like my flu and those snow days, this quarantine is really a beautiful gift from God so that we may experience Sabbath.
Jesus reminded the legalistic Pharisees that God created Sabbath for us. God obviously didn’t need Sabbath, but He knew we would. He knew, He knows, that we work hard, love big and serve others. Our Savior understands that there are many who depend on us, and much won’t get done if we don’t do it. But even more, our Brother wants us to be healthy, blessed, relaxed in a low stress life. God created us for His pleasure, and if we don’t take some Sabbath time to enjoy life and praise Him, our Creator can’t really enjoy us. So, be thankful for the snow. Enjoy the quiet. Make this quarantine your Sabbath.If you’d like to see a few more devotions created for this time of crisis, check out Stand Strong in the Storm, 15 devotions curated from my other devotion books to give you encouragement during this difficult time.
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