The commandment from God to “Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy” first appears in the Bible in the book of Exodus (Ex 20:8-11). God tells the Israelites through Moses to remember and keep holy the sabbath because God rested on the seventh day after creating the universe for six days.
Later in Deuteronomy (Deut 5:12-15), however, Moses reminds the Israelites of God’s commandments and recalls God’s instructions to “Observe the sabbath day and keep it holy” with God offering this reason: “Remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm; therefore the Lord your God commanded you to keep the sabbath day.”
Slaves did not have the freedom to rest for a full day once a week; free people can.
Turn this page over to find some guiding questions for your pondering and practicing the remembrance and observance of sabbath this week.
This week, Week 2, read both Exodus 20:8-11 and Deuteronomy 5:12-15.
- Is either of these compelling reasons for Christians to remember and observe the sabbath? What might be another (think Jesus!)? What would be your most compelling reason to practice keeping Sabbath?
- Because of its connection to liberation (both from slavery in Egypt and from our slavery to sin through the Resurrection), sabbath keeping is often viewed as a form of resistance. By not working on the sabbath, by not engaging in commerce, by resting and extending that rest to our families and employees, in what forms of resistance might we be engaging today?
- When have you chosen rest in God over the reigning busyness of our culture? Did you feel like a resistor?
- Record you responses in a journal and, if you wish, share some of your ideas with others on the Pastor’s Blog on www.mysticucc.org.
- Start thinking about what you need to change in your life, your schedule, your view of the world to remember and observe the Sabbath.
This Lent…give it a rest.