Rev. Raymond Maher / Battlefords News-Optimist
MAY 25, 2018 08:04 AM
Neighbourly Advice According to Ed
Ed, my old neighbour in Saskatchewan, considers every day alike. He rejects going to church on Sunday as he sees Sunday as no more sacred than any other day. My old neighbour has lots of people who share his view. They reject the view that Sunday is the Lord’s Day. The commandment, to remember the Sabbath Day by keeping it holy does not hold water with them.
Ed argues the Sabbath Day was not Sunday in the Old Testament but Saturday, and therefore, the commandment to remember or observe the Sabbath does not apply to us. The Old Testament is clear about the Sabbath Day. It says, “There are six days when you may work, but the seventh day (Saturday) is a holy day, a Sabbath of rest, a day of sacred assembly.”
As Christians, Jesus is our rest, our Saviour and Lord. God no longer requires us to observe the Sabbath Day and other holy days of the Old Testament. They were shadows of the reality of Jesus Christ to come. Jesus made it clear that he is Lord of the Sabbath.
In the New Testament, God does not specify a certain day of worship and rest, but requires Christians to come together in worship. Sunday, the first day of the week, when Jesus arose from the dead, became the day of worship and rest for Christians. They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
When God spoke of the observance of the Sabbath in the Old Testament, He reminded the Israelites how He brought them as slaves out of Egypt. As slaves, they had no rest from their labor, nor any hope of rest. God saved them from slavery, and on the Sabbath Day, He commanded them to honour Him and to not work.
Most folks, Ed included, do not have trouble with Sunday being a day of rest. Many see it as a family day because parents aren’t at jobs outside their home. Sunday is often welcomed as a day off work, but many are not confident that public worship of God is in their best interest. Coming together around God’s word and sacraments is a public act that proclaims those gathered are not ashamed of God and His word of life and power. Group worship reminds Christians they have been saved from the slavery of sin through faith in Jesus Christ and together with his people they can build a new life together in His name.
Sunday by Sunday, public worship gives Christians an opportunity to examine themselves to see whether they are in the faith. The power of worship is hearing the acts of Jesus, which were written that we might believe Jesus is the Christ, Son of God, and that believing we may have life in His name.
Jesus came to complete the words of the Old Testament. Many turned against Jesus because he healed on the Sabbath Day. He agreed the Sabbath was made for worship and rest. He also showed as, Lord of the Sabbath, the Sabbath was for doing good, saving life and healing those in need.
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