Sunday, June 11, 2017

Devotion 6.12.17

"Downton Abbey" was a show on PBS that became very popular in the US as viewers found themselves enthralled with an aristocratic family in late-19th, early 20th century England.  During one episode, the matriarch of the family becomes upset when one of her granddaughters  becomes engaged to a "common" man, a doctor.  The family engages in a conversation during which they talked about the fact that common people observe "weekends."  "What's a weekend?" the matriarch asks.

Such is aristocratic snobbery I suppose.  However, western cultures do observe "weekends."  The idea that a five-day work week is capped off with two days off.  We do find the roots of this idea in scripture when, at the end of creation, God rested on the seventh day. "And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done.  So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation." (Genesis 2:2-3)

So to our Third Commandment when God formalized how God's people are to live with the commandments.  "Remember the Sabbath Day by keeping it holy."  The Small Catechism written by Martin Luther examines this commandment from a various aspects, but as he writes, all laws point to Christ.  The idea of Christ fulfilling the law changes the legality of the idea of a "Sabbath" to an idea of every day being one in which we honor Christ.  Tradition moved the actual day to the day that Christ rose from the dead which puts the Christian "Sabbath" on Sunday. 

The Lutheran Study Bible uses this same frame of reference with a brief prayer after the explanatory note on God's day of rest, the Sabbath Day, after creation.  That prayer is brief but fitting for this devotion, "We praise You, O Lord, for the day of rest that our bodies need.  We exalt you, O Christ, for the eternal rest that you have won for us!  Amen."

Hope Men's Ministry

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