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January 15 | Mark 2:23-28


 

DAILY READING


 

REFLECTION

How Do Christians Observe the Sabbath?

by Pr. Dave Mann


The keywords of this passage are “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.” The main point is that Jesus, the 2nd person of the Trinity, has the authority over the Law in which the Sabbath, the 7th day of the week, was dedicated to a day of rest. But the Pharisees had become overly preoccupied with rules upon rules to make sure that the commandment not be broken, that they had missed the whole point.

 

There was no definitive and sudden change of emphasis from the Sabbath to The Lord’s Day, but the shift from the 7th day to the 1st day of the week happened over time during the early church. See 1 Corinthians 16:1-4; Acts 20:7; and numerous church fathers. The energetic might choose to read the words of several of these early church leaders. Click here

 

Early on, the Christian church shifted the emphasis from the Sabbath, the 6th day of the week, to The Lord’s Day, the 7th day of the week. Why did this happen? The church saw that God, through the resurrection of Jesus from the dead on the 1st day of the week, had hallowed and sanctified that day. As a result, the gathering of the believers now occurred on The Lord’s Day, and some even began calling the 1st day of the week “the Sabbath.”

 

Martin Luther’s words in The Small Catechism clarify the Christian purpose of the 3rd Commandment.

 

Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy.

What does this mean for us?

We are to fear and love God so that we do not neglect his Word and the preaching of it, but regard it as holy and gladly hear and learn it.

 

I fear, however, that in this day we have wandered far afield from remembering The Lord’s Day to keep it holy. Rather than prioritizing gathering together so that the Word of God can shape us, we often yield to other claims-–sports, travel, other social gatherings, etc. It is not just checking the box of “I attended church this Sunday,” a legalistic requirement, but it is gathering with an attitude of fear, reverence, and love for the Word of God.

 

Let’s gather at least weekly with an attentive heart to apply ourselves to the Word of God, as we follow the Lord of the Sabbath.


PRAYER

Thank you, heavenly Father, for the weekly reminder that your Word has authority and gives grace in our lives. Let me love your Word more and more. Help me hear it gladly and put it into practice, in the name of the Lord of the Sabbath. Amen.







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2 Comments


robin.lorms
Jan 15

Dave:

Reading your comments reminds me of my childhood when we pretty much respected the Sabbath (Sunday). In those days of old(lol) there were the blue laws. All the stores were closed as were movie theaters, car dealers, restaurants etc.. all for the purpose of honoring the Sabbath. My how times have changed! We attended church, fixed breakfast together played some sports in the afternoon but no more than that. When I share that with my kids and grandkids they look at me as if to say, " that is so sad, Papa". I can imagine the uproar in Upper Arlington if the local authorities set a policy of no sports on Sunday. Pandemonium. I confess I could do…

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stacy.schad
Jan 15

So much to be gained spiritually and mentally when we sabbath.

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