Remember the sabbath day, and 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; you shall not do any work – you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns. For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and consecrated it. (Exodus 20:8-11)
Sabbath is God’s gift to humanity. With the sabbath, God has given us back time because time is not our own. God intends for us to have consecrated time to remember who God is and to remember who we are – part of His creation…part of His original work. On this day we are called to remember, recall, recollect.
Sabbath is tied to Creation. God rested from His work of creation on the seventh day to designate the work as good, and to recognize the goal of perfect rest – reflection, perfection, recognition of God’s intention for life. “The third commandment is a reminder that we have been created for no higher purpose than the worship of God.” (Hauerwas and Willimon, page 58)
Observing the sabbath faithfully is a witness to the world. How we choose to observe the sabbath will set us apart from a world that strives for more work by showing that life must contain a balance of work and rest, and this balance is the gift of a gracious Creator. How we choose to observe the sabbath will teach our children about self-discipline and what it looks like to use our time intentionally to worship God faithfully.
Here are thoughts from the women of Grace Chapel on how to spend the Sabbath day: church, reading the Bible with family, prayer, silence, spiritual conversation and fellowship, meals together, relax, spend time with loved ones, taking a walk and admiring nature, worship, reflection, serving others, volunteering in the church service, Bible study…add your own ideas to the list!
For Week 5, please read Chapter 4 on the Fourth Commandment. Following are discussion questions to prepare you for our next meeting:
- Why did God give us this commandment? What is the need?
- What does it mean to “honor”?
- What qualities does good parenting require?
- What are the benefits of following this commandment?
- What does it cost to follow this commandment?
- Does this commandment have any limitations? If so, what?