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Friday, June 8, 2012

Honouring the Sabbath: Study notes


Honouring the Sabbath

And Jesus concluded, "The Sabbath was made for the good of human beings; they were not made for the Sabbath.” Mark 2:27

Exo 20:8-11  "Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy. You have six days in which to do your work, but the seventh day is a day of rest dedicated to me. On that day no one is to work---neither you, your children, your slaves, your animals, nor the foreigners who live in your country. In six days I, the LORD, made the earth, the sky, the seas, and everything in them, but on the seventh day I rested. That is why I, the LORD, blessed the Sabbath and made it holy.

Deu 5:12-15  " 'Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy, as I, the LORD your God, have commanded you. You have six days in which to do your work, but the seventh day is a day of rest dedicated to me. On that day no one is to work---neither you, your children, your slaves, your animals, nor the foreigners who live in your country. Your slaves must rest just as you do.  Remember that you were slaves in Egypt, and that I, the LORD your God, rescued you by my great power and strength. That is why I command you to remember the Sabbath.

Heb 4:1-11  Now, God has offered us the promise that we may receive that rest he spoke about. Let us take care, then, that none of you will be found to have failed to receive that promised rest. For we have heard the Good News, just as they did. They heard the message, but it did them no good, because when they heard it, they did not accept it with faith. We who believe, then, do receive that rest which God promised. It is just as he said, "I was angry and made a solemn promise: 'They will never enter the land where I would have given them rest!' " He said this even though his work had been finished from the time he created the world. For somewhere in the Scriptures this is said about the seventh day: "God rested on the seventh day from all his work." This same matter is spoken of again: "They will never enter that land where I would have given them rest." Those who first heard the Good News did not receive that rest, because they did not believe. There are, then, others who are allowed to receive it. This is shown by the fact that God sets another day, which is called "Today." Many years later he spoke of it through David in the scripture already quoted: "If you hear God's voice today, do not be stubborn."
If Joshua had given the people the rest that God had promised, God would not have spoken later about another day. As it is, however, there still remains for God's people a rest like God's resting on the seventh day. For those who receive that rest which God promised will rest from their own work, just as God rested from his. Let us, then, do our best to receive that rest, so that no one of us will fail as they did because of their lack of faith.

Good News Bible Translation

Prayer to Welcome the Sabbath

Lord of Creation, create in us a new rhythm of life
composed of hours that sustain, rather than stress,
of days that deliver rather than destroy, of time that tickles rather than tackles.
Lord of liberation, by the rhythm of Your truth, set us free
from the bondage and baggage that breaks us,
from the Pharaohs and fellows who break fail us,
from the plans and pursuits that prey upon us.

Lord of Resurrection, may we be raised into the rhythm of Your new life,
dead to deceitful calendars, dead to fleeting friend requests,
dead to the empty peace of our accomplishments.
To our packed-full planners, we bid, “Peace!”
To our over-caffeinated consciences, we say, “Cease!”
To our suffocating selves, Lord, grant release.

Drowning in a sea of deadlines and death chimes, we rest in You, our lifeline.
By Your ever-restful grace, allow us to enter Your Sabbath rest
as Your Sabbath rest enters into us.
In the name of our Creator, our Liberator, our Resurrection and Life, we pray.
Amen.

From “Common Prayer” by Shane Claiborne, et al.

For reflection
Why do you think God spends more time on this command than any other?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                     

What are some of the ways (5) we can “Remember the Sabbath”?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

What does it mean to “keep it holy”?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

How is the Sabbath a means of grace?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

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