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A Day to Rest - Deut. 5:12-15

God created the world in 6 days and rested on the 7th.  This became a model we were instructed to mimic.  The ten commandments include a day of rest, the only one of the 10 commandments that is systematically ignored by modern Christians.  Why?  Of all the commands why would we ignore the one meant to refill us?

This week's passage from the narrative lectionary is part of the goodbye speeches given by Moses to remind the Israelites of all the things God wanted for them and had done for them.  While it was written for the Israelites we cannot assume it does not apply to us, since this command is included in the 10 commandments.

The command to rest includes not just us, but our servants, animals, and foreigners.  What a revolutionary our culture this would include a restriction on going out to eat or to the store. A wish for all to rest, no matter their status.  Growing up I remember everything being closed on Sunday.  I was so happy to see things open up, I saw it as progress.  Now I wonder...I don't believe Sunday to be the appropriate Sabbath, but I would rather see a day of rest, even if it was on the "wrong" day.  I think God would approve of this.

I don't want to get into legalism here.  I am a firm believer in grace.  We are not saved by any action or any rule following...that does not mean that we cannot honor God by following his plan for our lives, right?  Moses told the people that this ritual pause was to remind them that they were once slaves, and that they were freed to rest by God.  Were we not once slaves to sin and now freed by God?  Would this not still be a good reminder and a good focus point?

I have followed the Sabbath for portions of my life.  I am out of the practice at this point, but every time I have followed it, it has been a blessing.  I encourage you to try it, and I hope to bring it back into my own rhythm in the near future. 

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