Today’s scripture selection: Ezekiel 19-24
Key verse: Ezekiel 20:20
“Keep my Sabbaths holy, that they may be a sign between us. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God.”
Mention God’s laws; God’s principles and it’s not long before someone is sure to mention “Well, you need to keep the Sabbath holy!” Then, there usually follows a discussion about how people do or don’t do this right and whether or not certain businesses or sporting events should be held on Sunday.
I’ve been a part of many of those discussions as a pastor. And, I will definitely count myself among the number who wishes coaches would, at the very least, wait until after noon to hold those sporting events.
But there is one thing that bothers me about those discussions.
It’s the fact that so often they are grounded in a “rules” mentality. You know:
1. The rule is “Keep the Sabbath Holy.”
2. Here’s how to do that (Step 1,2,3,…)
3. If you don’t do that, God will “get you.”
4. End of discussion.
What bothers me about this, regardless of the merits of “following God’s rules,” is that I think God had something a lot more in mind that just keeping us in line.
God loves us. He desires a relationship with us – a relationship – where there is good, deep, intimate, loving communication. He wants to hear from us regularly and wants us to know He’s there for us. He wants to be joyful in our presence and wants us to be joyful in his.
He wants to know us – and wants us to really know him – not just know “about” him.
Sabbath is – or should be – all of those things.
Intimate; joyful; loving; fulfilling; sustaining; strengthening.
It’s so much more than just waiting till afternoon to throw a football or go to the store.
It’s so much more than following the “rules” so we don’t get in trouble.
That’s part of what makes it so holy – and so blessed.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me keep your holy Sabbath in my heart, every day. AMEN.