Monday, August 03, 2009

Daily Devotional Thought-For the Family

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

"Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy."
What does this mean? We should fear and love God so that we do not despise preaching and His Word, but hold it sacred and gladly hear and learn it.

Luther's explanation of the 3rd Commandment in the Small Catechism is simple, yet profound. Yet I think we often times miss the point of it. For example, we say that there is no law that demands a certain level of worship attendance, but then we think of the Sabbath simply as the one day each week that we gather up the kiddos into the car and head off to church. If we're up and at it on time, we'll make it to Sunday School as well.

Don't get me wrong, regular worship attendance is a holy habbit that will keep you centered on the Word of God, and more importantly, the Gospel of Jesus Christ--especially if you are blessed to attend the Divine Service where God's Law and Gospel are properly distinguished, the Sacraments are adminsitered often and in accord with Christ's institution, Christ-Crucified-Died-and-Risen for your forgiveness is the center of the preaching, and the pastors are teaching regular Bible classes that both challenge and edify.

The blessings of the Sabbath, however, ARE NOT restricted to a certain day of the week, and especially not just a couple of hours. How does Luther say to keep the Sabbath holy? By holding the Word of God sacred and gladly hearing and learning it. Becuase, you see, our Sabbath rest is in Christ, and He comes to us whenever and wherever His Word is read or proclaimed. After all, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath" (Mark 2:27).

Our families today are busy. And sometimes the stress of this frantic world can cause us to dred some of the most wonderful gifts the Lord had given us--being a mom or a dad! But when we gladly hear the Word of God on a daily basis, we will learn that Jesus doesn't live in the building where we worship. He's with you always, to the very end of the age (Matt. 28:19-20). Jesus said, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest" (Matt. 11:28). Because He is always present in His Word, we can experience our Sabbath rest each and every day.

May you and yours rest in Jesus, the Lord of the Sabbath (Luke 6:5). Amen

No comments: