Honor the Sabbath

Lou Lotz

READ : Jeremiah 17:19-27

Keep the Sabbath day holy, as I commanded your fathers. (v. 22)

When I was a boy, the whole point of Sabbath observance seemed to be the suppression of enjoyment. You couldn't watch television. You couldn't go swimming. You couldn't play outdoors. I wouldn't want those days back again.

But the pendulum of change has swung too far. We have lost the rhythm of service and Sabbath, work and worship, labor and rest. We have thrown the baby out with the bath water.

There are health and wellness considerations wrapped up in Sabbath observance: people need rest from their labors. There is the witness of public worship: what does a half-empty sanctuary say to your community? What does a half-empty sanctuary say to God? Most important, honoring the Sabbath reminds us that God is God and we are not. Sometimes I find myself working too long, too hard, as though frightened that creation will collapse into nothingness without my relentless activity. Sabbath observance strikes a blow at our idolatrous worship of our own labors. It's a confession that God's work in the world goes on even when our labors cease.

Ask people what is the climax of the creation narrative in Genesis and they will say the creation of humankind—Adam and Eve. But Genesis mentions seven days, not six. The climax, the crown of the creation story, is God's hallowing of the Sabbath. Don't squander God's crowning gift to you. Honor the Sabbath.

PRAYER

Father, thank you for the Sabbath. Amen.