Pastor April BLOG: Sabbath Keeper=Creation Keeper

Published on Jan 24th, 2015 by Jasbir | 0

The Sabbath keeps the “order in the world” that God intended with His final act of Creation (a period of rest) (Fretheim, 230).  The Sabbath outlines the connection between the Ten Commandments and Creation highlighting clearly that all of them are meant to be “followed” and it is in the actual physical act of “following them one becomes what one was created by God to be” (Fretheim, 222, 229).

The New Testament does not “set aside the Ten Commandments” for Christians but calls them to an even deeper understanding of them with a new commandment to love which incorporates all the Lord’s commandments and “extends them without limit” (Matt 5:17-29; 22:37-40).  The pattern of six days of work followed by a seventh of holy rest and remembering reminds modern Christians that God redeems us to function and be as we were created to be (Fretheim, 223).  The Sabbath is a “divine gift to the world, not a burden” which existed before us and apart from us but it is reached by all of creation only by laying aside our work and entering into holy rest out of love as we respond in obedience and imitate our Maker doing what He knows is best for us and all of His creation as often as we are able (Mark 2:27)(Fretheim, 229).  The church has the same call, to imitate God’s character.  The Sabbath is the same divine enabling and equipping gift to the church as it was to Israel.  It is there for those who choose to plug into this divine holy rest.  For those who do not or when you cannot not, you miss out on that balance.

I want to add that it does matter which day you choose to set aside if the goal is plugging into or joining in the exact pattern of the specific day of rest modeled and participated in by God Himself.

People in modern times join in remembering this day the same as always,  that day of divine rest, by laying aside their work.  Not just what they do for a living but all their labors.  The point is to appreciate and remember that it is God’s work of creating and redeeming us that holds power and gives us value rather than any work we can do with our own hands.  Doing this on Saturday and for a complete 24 hours (Friday at sun down to Saturday at sun down is the Jewish time frame) sends a message of God’s goodness and care and character to everyone around us as well as ourselves.  It does not mean you have to go to church on Saturday.  (In fact, for those who are in ministry going to church does not represent laying down our labors anyways.)

I never kept the sabbath in this way.  Instead I said somewhere in the week I will give myself one day of no work at the church and no school work.  Well, that was nice and it was helpful to me personally and to my children and husband (family time they could count on and plan on) but it was a cheap imitation of the gift God really gave in the Sabbath and I don’t think it bore any witness whatsoever for Him or about His character to those around me.

After doing this research, I look forward to and am planning on being both a Sabbath Keeper and a Creation Keeper (as one of the writers I read called it) as many Friday night to Saturday nights as possible!  

If I can help any of your work with your schedule to make observation of the Sabbath more feasible, I am available for phone or in person conferences.  I am also happy to share the resources referenced in this blog.  God Himself will be an even better place to go for the best schedule and plan for your week.  Seek Him and He will guide you. 

– Pastor April

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