Violating the Sabbath – a capital crime…

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Exodus 35:1 Moses assembled all the congregation of the Israelites and said to them: These are the things that the Lord has commanded you to do: Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day you shall have a holy sabbath of solemn rest to the Lord; whoever does any work on it shall be put to death. You shall kindle no fire in all your dwellings on the sabbath day.

Shortly after God gave the 10 commandments to the people, there is this passage focusing on the Sabbath. It strikes me that violating the Sabbath is a capital crime in the eyes of God, warranting an offender be put to death. Today is my Sabbath day. As a pastor you can imagine that Sundays are not so restful, but Mondays are much better. Even so, keeping the Sabbath is hard for me.

If you’ve read this blog for any length of time you know that I’ve spent the last several years seeking to integrate the keeping of Sabbath as a core faith practice in my life. My results have been mixed at best, but I’m staying with it because if it’s so important to God it should be important to me. And given how difficult it can be to keep the Sabbath while the rest of the world is not, the payoff should be great. I’m trusting that is the case.

Gracious God, you have given the Sabbath as a gift to believers, not as a burden. Give us grace to trust you with the Sabbath. As for me, clear my heart and mind that I might rest today – and serve you once again tomorrow. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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