Rev Dr Edgar Mayer – Living Grace Church, Toowoomba – Date: 15 October 2017

For more sermons and other writings, please check the following homepage: www.livinggracetoowoomba.org

 

Pretty Good Day

 

Do you keep the Sabbath? When God gave his people the ten commandments, he asked us to have no other gods beside him, not to misuse (profane or blaspheme) his name, and then – before spelling out commandments about how we were to relate to one another (not committing adultery, murder or lie) – he added another commandment that seemed to be about our relationship with him:

 

Exodus 20:8-11: Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labour and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore, the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

 

Some laws in the Bible no longer apply because they have found fulfillment in Jesus Christ. For instance, we no longer sacrifice animals because they only foreshadowed Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross which satisfied all demands for atonement once and for all (see Hebrews 10). And we no longer distinguish between clean and unclean food because Jesus ushered in a new season – a new age – in which neither people nor animals are any longer divided into clean and unclean species or races but God cleanses them all.

 

Acts 10:9-20: About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds. Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.”

 “Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.”

The voice spoke to him a second time, Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”

This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven.

While Peter was wondering about the meaning of the vision, the men sent by Cornelius found out where Simon’s house was and stopped at the gate. They called out, asking if Simon who was known as Peter was staying there.

While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Simon, three men are looking for you. So get up and go downstairs. Do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them.”

 

However, is the Sabbath law also a law that has now become obsolete? (It would be the only one of the ten core commandments that we would no longer uphold.) What would you say? Or is it a law that we can safely water down? There is one Bible verse that seems to give permission for a more casual approach to this day. Jesus himself said: The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27). “The Sabbath was made for manwhich means for me (also), and maybe this means that it is my day, that I can decide and do what I want on this day.

Last week, the elders of Living Grace had an uneasy – slightly uncomfortable – conversation about our understanding of the Sabbath law and our habits, because immediately we felt confronted on account that we also go shopping on Sundays (at least some of us), check work emails, and – otherwise – enjoy aday offrather than make the whole day aholy dayto the Lord, our God. [By the way, do you know that our English word “holiday” or “holidays” does mean “holy day” or “holy days” reflecting the teaching of the Bible that used to shape our culture?]

I remember that years ago, I even shortened the Sunday service because I wanted to play in the grand finale of the local soccer competition. Carl was also playing and quite a few of the church were coming along. Was that right? We had a great time, and I would probably do it again. God delights in us when we do sport or paint or play music or do anything as his children. Then again, Eric Liddell, who was a medal prospect for Great Britain in the 1924 Olympic Games (and who did say that he felt God’s pleasure when he was running – God had made him fast), decided not to run the 100-meter race, because it would take place on the Sabbath and he did not want to desecrate God’s holy day (even at the Olympic Games). He would not have played in the soccer grand finale. (And God honoured him and let him win the 400-meter race.)

This is tricky. Do you keep the Sabbath? Not doing any work and keeping the day holy – honouring and seeking God on that day – can be hard. For instance, Francisca (our younger daughter) has a current work load of five subjects in her law and justice degree which is a greater workload than the university recommended. (In fact, they wrote a letter to Francisca asking her to reconsider.) This means that Francisca – keeping up her job commitments, social life and faith commitments (even including periods of fasting) – is working day and night, including on the Sabbath. This is only for a period of three months. Would you counsel her not to work on the Sabbath – neither keep up with her reading nor do assignment work? And should Mum also not proofread her essays on the Sabbath when the deadline is approaching?

What if you are looking for a job and the only job available takes you out of Sunday worship permanently because you always have work shifts on Sunday mornings? Would you put your foot down and say: “I will not take this job because I want to honour the Sabbath and worship God with my church family”? Maybe you can say this when it is only about you, but what if you are providing for your family and they depend on you?

Another common scenario. What about Sunday sport? Your child is good in her chosen sport but the competitive games or shows are on Sunday mornings which means that for the length of the sport’s season the child and probably other family members cannot come to worship but play competitive sport. With my own background and passions, can I say anything? Do I not understand? And if you saynoto the child will it become bitter and resentful about God and putting him first in life?

At our elders’ meeting, we even argued that you cannot always avoid shopping on Sundays because life is so busy. Sometimes this seems to be the only time that you can browse and buy something together.

Can we keep the Sabbath today? Can we obey the commandment: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy”? You could almost feel a little sorry for God because of all of the commandments this should have been the one that raises no complaints. God says: “Take a break – catch your breath – and stop. You have permission not to work and slow down – not to be busy – for an entire day.” This should have been good news, and it must have been in the past, especially when God had just rescued his people from slavery and said to the rundown slaves: “You are free now and can rest on the seventh day.”

 

Deuteronomy 5:12-15: Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the Lord your God has commanded you. Six days you shall labour and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your ox, your donkey or any of your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns, so that your male and female servants may rest, as you do. Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore, the Lord your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.

 

However, as history shows (as recorded in the Bible), even the rescued slaves back then immediately questioned whether it could be done. (If we cannot rest with all of our time-saving appliances – our washing machines and microwaves – how could they have done it?) Early on God taught them an important lesson when he was feeding them in the desert with the daily miracle of manna – bread from heaven:

 

Exodus 16:13-36: … and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. When the dew was gone, thin flakes like frost on the ground appeared on the desert floor. When the Israelites saw it, they said to each other, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was.

Moses said to them, “It is the bread the Lord has given you to eat. This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Everyone is to gather as much as they need. Take an omer for each person you have in your tent.’”

The Israelites did as they were told; some gathered much, some little. And when they measured it by the omer, the one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little. Everyone had gathered just as much as they needed.

Then Moses said to them, “No one is to keep any of it until morning.”

However, some of them paid no attention to Moses; they kept part of it until morning, but it was full of maggots and began to smell. So Moses was angry with them.

Each morning everyone gathered as much as they needed, and when the sun grew hot, it melted away. On the sixth day, they gathered twice as much—two omers for each person—and the leaders of the community came and reported this to Moses. He said to them, “This is what the Lord commanded: ‘Tomorrow is to be a day of sabbath rest, a holy sabbath to the Lord. So bake what you want to bake and boil what you want to boil. Save whatever is left and keep it until morning.’”

So they saved it until morning, as Moses commanded, and it did not stink or get maggots in it. “Eat it today,” Moses said, “because today is a sabbath to the Lord. You will not find any of it on the ground today. Six days you are to gather it, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath, there will not be any.”

Nevertheless, some of the people went out on the seventh day to gather it, but they found none. Then the Lord said to Moses, “How long will you refuse to keep my commands and my instructions? Bear in mind that the Lord has given you the Sabbath; that is why on the sixth day he gives you bread for two days. Everyone is to stay where they are on the seventh day; no one is to go out.” So the people rested on the seventh day.

The people of Israel called the bread manna. It was white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey. Moses said, “This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Take an omer of manna and keep it for the generations to come, so they can see the bread I gave you to eat in the wilderness when I brought you out of Egypt.’”

So Moses said to Aaron, “Take a jar and put an omer of manna in it. Then place it before the Lord to be kept for the generations to come.”

As the Lord commanded Moses, Aaron put the manna with the tablets of the covenant law, so that it might be preserved. The Israelites ate manna forty years, until they came to a land that was settled; they ate manna until they reached the border of Canaan.

(An omer is one-tenth of an ephah.)

 

God did not bless the gathering ofmannaon the Sabbath. And he was not pleased with those that worked and broke the Sabbath, saying: “How long will you refuse to keep my commands and my instructions?”

What about Sabbath keeping among us? This is not an easy discussion because, for all the possible merits of the commandment, we immediately stress and wonder about whether we can actually afford to keep the Sabbath day – whether we can afford to dedicate a whole day to rest (cease from all our labours) – but – would you agree with me? – this is a secondary consideration. When God said: “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy,” did he mean for us to follow this instruction even today, or not? What is his will?

Jesus – the Son of God – himself was accused of breaking the Sabbath but he was not going shopping and he was not averting attention from God. This is what happened:

 

Mark 2:23-28: One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields, and as his disciples walked along, they began to pick some heads of grain. The Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?”

He answered, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need? In the days of Abiathar the high priest, he entered the house of God and ate the consecrated bread, which is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions.”

Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”

 

Matthew 12:1-14: At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick some heads of grain and eat them. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, “Look! Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath.”

He answered, “Haven’t you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? He entered the house of God, and he and his companions ate the consecrated bread—which was not lawful for them to do, but only for the priests. Or haven’t you read in the Law that the priests on Sabbath duty in the temple desecrate the Sabbath and yet are innocent? I tell you that something greater than the temple is here. If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent. For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”

Going on from that place, he went into their synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Looking for a reason to bring charges against Jesus, they asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”

He said to them, “If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? How much more valuable is a person than a sheep! Therefore, it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.”

Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” So he stretched it out and it was completely restored, just as sound as the other. But the Pharisees went out and plotted how they might kill Jesus.

 

Snacking on heads of grain in the fields on the Sabbath is okay. God never meant to tie us up with extreme rules. “The Sabbath was made for man.” There is a blessing for us on the Sabbath, and – accordingly – you can heal people in the name of God on a Sabbath. However, Jesus did keep the Sabbath day distinct from the other six days: “… and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom” (Luke 4:16).

 

The apostle Paul wrote the following to the church in Rome – Romans-14:5-6: “One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind. Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord…

However, he was probably not questioning the weekly keeping of the Sabbath in these verses but had other religious festivals in mind (e.g.: Passover, New Year’s celebrations).

 

When God first gave the Sabbath commandment, he explained that this commandment was part of creation itself. The rhythm of six days of work and one day of rest was built into the very nature of human life on earth. I repeat a previous Bible reading:

 

Exodus 20:8-11: Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labour and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore, the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

 

God himself worked and created the world in six days but on the seventh day he rested, and – being created in his imagewe are to follow his holy pattern: work for six days and then rest for one day. If this belongs to being created in God’s image and is something that he has done and that has been embedded in creation, we cannot break the Sabbath law without going against the very nature of our own existence here on earth (and even in heaven).

And experience backs this up, because we know what happens when we keep working without taking time out. We burn out. Our working output does not increase with Sunday labour but decreases and ends up being less than working for just six days.

Built into the very mechanics of life on earth is the Sabbath day which God (in addition) blessed (especially) and made holy. If this is true, then the anxious question is no longer whether we can afford to keep this holy day despite our busyness and other commitments but whether we can afford not to keep it. Can you afford not to keep the Sabbath?

We can all appreciate that our bodies need rest but we humans are not just bodies. We have a soul (a mind, will and emotions). We are spiritual beings. Our current bodies are temporary but our spirits – our very essence that relates to God – is eternal. And, as spiritual beings, we also need the Sabbath rest for our souls. If you keep working away seven days a week, your body gets weary but so does your soul. There is spiritual refreshment in spending time with God on a Sabbath. We must experience his joy, love and peace, or our spirit burns out (or loses its life in God).

What happens if you keep missing worship on the Sabbath regularly? Paul describes the dynamic in an extreme fashion when he explains how godly people turn into senseless idol worshippers. Among us, the drifting away from God may not be as extreme (I hope) but the underlying danger is the same for everyone.

 

Romans 1:21-32: For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

Therefore, God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

 

First you know God and you know what following and obeying him means, but you don’t do it. You do your own thing. At first, God keeps confronting and convicting you of your backsliding. You still have a sense of right and wrong, and you still sense that you are missing the presence of God. Butpersisting in doing your own thing – you begin to lose the conviction by the Holy Spirit and, before long, you settle quite comfortably in your separation from God and no longer feel that anything is missing.

And this is the worst judgement that can ever happen to you. You lose your awareness and hunger for God. Skipping one Sabbath after another (and not seeking God at other times), you lose all sensitivity of the truth, because you remain immersed in the values of this world (and the busy chasing of worldly goals), and God at long last (giving you what you want) lets you go: “…but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkenedGod gave them over in the sinful desires of their heartsjust as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind…”

Can you afford not to keep the Sabbath? Are you alive in God now? It could be that this morning’s struggle and discomfort with the Sabbath commandment – our whole wrestling with our Sabbath keeping practice – is already a sign that our souls and spirits could be healthier, because the greater the revelation of God in our hearts, the greater our desire is to be with him. When we are out of practice and no longer know how to stop our busyness, we cannot become still and tune in on him and, failing to receive from him, we lose our appreciation that God is good and real and can be experienced.

Yet, there is a Sabbath joy waiting for us which makes it worthwhile to change our practice:

 

Psalm 84:10-12: Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked. For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favour and honour; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. Lord Almighty, blessed is the one who trusts in you.

 

Psalm 42:1-4: As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? …These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go to the house of God under the protection of the Mighty One with shouts of joy and praise among the festive throng.

 

When our hearts are overflowing with a sense of God’s goodness and presence, we cannot keep away from worship on the Sabbath or any other day. [Some of our husbands and wives sometimes have “date nights” where they make time for each other away from the children, and they look forward to these times. The Sabbath is our “date night” with God – a “date” that promises intimacy and enjoying the relationship.]

 

Acts 2:42-47: They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

 

Can it be done? Can we afford to be different and not work on the seventh day? Of course not, if we attempt to keep the Sabbath in our own strength, but can anything be done in the Christian life in our own strength? For instance, can you afford to tithe – give away a tenth of your income (before other offerings) – or will this blow your budget? Can you afford to turn the other cheek and love your enemies without being squashed by them? What can you do in your own strength? Absolutely nothing. But, with God, anything is possible, and we must have the Sabbath rest.

Jesus promised that we would not have to worry about missing a day of work. It can be done:

 

Matthew 6:31-33:  So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things [seven days a week], and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

 

John 15:5: I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

 

There is another reason why any failure to keep the Sabbath has tragic consequences. We lose our witness to the world. You may not be good sharing about Jesus with words but when Christians come together on a Sunday – when Christians refuse to be busy and make this day about God – then our practice speaks louder than a thousand sermons. We are not like the world. We have God in our lives whoso loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). There is a holy day set apart by him and for him and for us.

I repeat another Bible passage from before:

 

Deuteronomy 5:12-15: Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the Lord your God has commanded you. Six days you shall labour and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your ox, your donkey or any of your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns, so that your male and female servants may rest, as you do. Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore, the Lord your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.

 

In the past, God had rescued his people from slavery in Egypt and he had saved them for the purpose of worshipping him. God had said (repeatedly) to the ruler of Egypt: “Let my people [originally: son] go, so they may worship me” (Exodus 4:23). The whole battle with the slave masters of Egypt was about time out for the slaves to worship another master, their God, who would rescue them.

And God did rescue them and then made the Sabbath a lasting sign of his salvation: “Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore, the Lord your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.” Under God, his people would not be exploited slaves as in Egypt. They would have a day of rest – a holy day unto him.

It is not so different with us. We are rescued from slavery to sin, death and the devil, and the Sabbath day is the sign of our salvation. On this day, we rest and worship God with joy. We have a God who set us free.

A few years ago, a new company – “The Airport Flyer” – began offering door to door services from Toowoomba homes to the Brisbane airport, and the business was successful, but – incredibly – did not offer the service on Saturdays, because the company was run by Seventh Day Adventists who kept the Sabbath on the Saturday of the week. This was an inconvenience for their clients and potentially reduced their profits, but it was also an incredible witness of people putting God before profits and trusting him to provide regardless.

Eric Liddell did not run an Olympic race because it was scheduled to take place on a Sunday. For us today, this may sound extreme, but what a powerful testimony it has become over the last one hundred years. This decision was prominent in the Oscar-winning movieChariots of Fire”, and it honoured God and did Eric Liddell no harm. People may not share his faith but who will not respect his integrity?

How do you keep the Sabbath? There are hardly any instructions given, but it doesn’t seem complicated. Just don’t do any work and honour the day as holy to the Lord. Then, we know the foremost commandments in the Bible are about loving God and our neighbour, therefore this day can be about that. Stop being busy and take time to love God and your neighbour which includes your family – at home and at church. And how can that not be a good day? It’s about love and community. It’s going to refuel us.

In closing, I make one more point. As a church – as the church family of Living Grace – we need the Sabbath, because we cannot function as a community without coming together and listening together where he wants to take us. Eric Liddell made a stand for God by keeping the Sabbath as a single person but the Christian impact is magnified by a whole community standing up for God with one voice.

Pastor Herman loves figures and details, and he calculated that on any given Sunday a third of our core members are absent from worship – every Sunday whether it is school holidays, long weekend or not. Apparently, our figures are not any worse than the figures of other local churches but they can present a challenge. It can be difficult to be on a mission together when we have not processed the word of God to us together and do not all own the way forward. Therefore, from this perspective, know how important it is for all of us that no one is missing on Sunday morning. Everyone matters and God gave us the Sabbath to set us up for a joint witness that impacts the world. [It is no wonder that all dictatorships (e.g.: Nazis and communists) fear the Christians coming together and worshipping their God.]

However, we are blessed here at Living Grace. I want to celebrate a little. I rejoice in our history and what we have because I think that the Sabbath – honouring God and worshipping him together in this church – has been a high value for us. We have been on a journey together of listening to God. We came into renewal, and then in March 2015 our little church launched a national renewal movement in the Lutheran church with amazing outcomes. God used us to renew people’s faith, heal and fill many with the Holy Spirit. Visitors from interstate started coming and joining us on the Sabbath. They wanted to experience worship in this church. We hosted a national conference here at 90 Jellicoe St, and last year our little church organized a national renewal conference at Mt Barker (just outside of Adelaide). A working team of about fifty of us travelled to South Australia and served, and all of us stuck out our necks.

This year, we unanimously decided to leave the Lutheran Church of Australia and become a self-governing congregation which was again something that we did together and owned together as a church community. As a little church we punched above our weight because we stood together and made a commitment to each other in service to God.

This week, I received a draft of a documentary on Lutheran Renewal, and it gave me such a lift because, watching the footage, you can see what a united church that is following Jesus can do. God has been so good to us.

 

Show a brief video clip of the documentary.

 

What is next? Right now, it is not one hundred percent clear but we expect an outpouring of God’s glory, a harvest of souls, further renewal work, a release of all of our members into their passions and callings, and something that is affecting our nation and even more work overseas. I don’t think that any of us are dreaming about small things. Yet, we are not clear on how everything is going to unfold.

For this reason, can I encourage you to watch the Sabbath. We want to come together, worship, listen and process God’s word together so that we can remain powerful as a community that backs each other up and shares the same values before a watching world.

Of all the commandments, the Sabbath commandment should not really raise complaints. God gives us permission to slow down and rest.

 

Deuteronomy 5:12-15: Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the Lord your God has commanded you. Six days you shall labour and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your ox, your donkey or any of your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns, so that your male and female servants may rest, as you do. Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore, the Lord your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.

 

This day gives us rest, honours God, restores our soul, and makes us a witness to the world. It’s a pretty good day. Why would we not want to keep it? Amen.