“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. Exodus 20:8-10
The world is a busy, noisy place filled with people at work and play. Our culture is one in which we try to fill every moment with the sights and sounds of modern day life. There is so much to choose from, so much to do, and so little time. The “other” gods of the world demand our precious time and we have to work longer and harder to make enough money to appease them. The rhythm and pace of life today drives us to unhealthy habits of eating fast food (The defendant will rise), neglecting our families, (Guilty as charged), and not getting the rest needed to rejuvenate our bodies. (Bailiff, take him away!)
The world is so busy and distracted, that the voices of competition, success, selfishness, pride and pleasure deafen our ears and fill our hearts and minds with earthly troubles. But as God’s people become quiet, we hear yet another voice. We hear that whispering voice that calls out to us; we hear the voice of God. If we can break out of the rhythm set by “other gods” we will soon find that it is the one true God who sets the rhythm of life, blessing his people with all they need, allowing six days for work and giving the seventh for rest, worship, and prayer.
According to Luther’s Small Catechism, we are to fear, love, and trust in God, so that we may be rested and refreshed; not only by our taking time from work, but also by gathering with the people of God to pray, to hear God’s Word as it is preached and to receive the Sacrament of the Altar which is Holy Communion. We gather as a community and celebrate the love that God so freely gives to the world. Remembering the Sabbath day means we remember God is the source of our very lives and livelihood. Keeping it holy means we gather with the saints for worship and thanksgiving.
As we consider this commandment, remember to pray for those who are under stress from overwork, sleepless nights, and driven by the urgency of a fallen and broken world. Pray for those who work in this noisy, busy world, and pray that, for one day in seven, all may find peace and quiet, so that they may also hear the whispering voice of God calling them to rest in his Word.
Holy God, you give your people one day in seven to rest from work, to pray ad to give you thanks. Strengthen us in faith that we may keep holy the Sabbath. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.