By Pastor Christopher Ek, Senior Pastor
Back in the early 90’s I worked many summers at Pilgrim Pines in the kitchen.
Each week you had one day off and you looked forward to that day off. You were able to sleep in, spend the day at the beach, shop in Keene, head home, or just watch everyone else work. I always looked forward to that day off to rest,bplay, and do something different thanbwork. We all love a day off.
In Mark 2:23, Jesus and his disciples are walking through cornfields picking corn. On the surface a story about picking corn lacks a sense of significance, but in this case they were picking corn on the Sabbath. The religious leaders confronted them because it is illegal to pick corn or do any work on the Sabbath. Jesus tells them this: “The Sabbath was made for humans, not humans for the Sabbath.”
In our busy, overfilled, ‘little room left over lives’, we should be so grateful that God gives us the gift of a day off to focus on our relationship with him. When I was a kid, I had many Sundays I didn’t want to go to church and it led to a few battles, but we always went. At one point church
was just one more thing to do, but it didn’t stay that way for me. Church became vital to my week.
As human beings we have always fought God on this idea of a Sabbath. The Israelites coming out of Egypt were given a Sabbath. After being slaves for so long you would think a day of rest would be welcome, but they had a tough time with it. The Pharisees never embraced the true
nature of the Sabbath. They used it to condemn others and make sure everyone was
following the rules. Even today, we don’t think we need it. But a Sabbath was given to us as a
gift and for a reason: To have a day of rest and a day devoted to God.
“Sabbath is not dependent upon our readiness to stop. We do not stop when we are finished.
We do not stop when we complete our phone calls, finish our project, get through this stack of messages, or get out this report that is due tomorrow. We stop because it is time to stop.”
This summer I invite you to a re-commitment to Sabbath as a vital part of your spiritual life. Look at beginning every Sunday morning (you are home) at Bethany this summer. Come and see how Sabbath is vital to us ‘coming to life’ in Jesus Christ.