March 15, 2020
Good morning FAC, being that the mission conference was scheduled for this weekend and my feeling under the weather yesterday, I am not prepared for a live sermon stream. However, I did want to share a thought or two with you so you can start this day on the right foot.
We use the word "sabbath" very infrequently in our modern culture. Some of us know that God made a commandment about it (Ex 20:8). Some of us know that it means to stop or something to that effect.
However, the sabbath was something created by God so that man could understand the depth of God's love for his creation and creation's love for Him. A time where people would stop work, and focus wholly and fully on God. Keep this in mind as you think about Jesus' words in Mark, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath." (2:27).
Many of us are now finding ourselves in the heart of a sabbath. COVID-19 has now locked down the country. Workplaces, schools, and churches are shut down. whether we like it or not, most of us are in a forced sabbath.
How are we going to used this time that God has given us? There are no sports programs to run to, no karate to drop to people off at. It is just us, our families, neighbors and a God who desires we do not squander this time.
God spoke in the book of Ezekiel about the Israelites who wandered in the desert and it's interesting what he held against them,
But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness. They did not walk in my statutes but rejected my rules, by which, if a person does them, he shall live; and my Sabbaths they greatly profaned. 20:11-13. Moreover, I gave them my Sabbaths, as a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord who sanctifies them. I gave them my statutes and made known to them my rules, by which, if a person does them, he shall live.
That one part is worth reading again,
"Moreover, I gave them my Sabbaths, as a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord who sanctifies them."
God makes it pretty clear that His purpose for the sabbath was to focus (or refocus) on him, the One who sets us apart.
Of all the things that God could have held against the Israelites, He chose to call them on the sabbath. I mean that whole party scene when Moses comes down the mountain and finds Aaron with a lampshade on his head next to a golden calf (Matthew's Version Bible) doesn't even get a mention. However, how they used their time gets top billing.
In the coming weeks as we hunker down as the pandemic spreads we will find ourselves with a time that we did not have before. God has pretty much given this country a two-week sabbath to slow down and focus on His great love for his creation. Let's not squander this time; let us take a breath, close our eyes and thank the God of the sabbath and for this gift that he has given us...time!
Have a great Sunday FAC, enjoy it, and enjoy your God. I will be in contact with you all this week as we look at some live streaming options. Don't forget to call and check in with those in our congregation who are limited in their technology we do not wish anyone should feel disconnected. Know, I am praying for health and safety for you all as this event continues. Hope to see you all soon,
In Christ's Love,