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Posts Tagged ‘Sunday’

This is a repeat of the post on Easter Sunday …

He is risen indeed!

Last year I posted a video (More than Chocolate) that had been speaking to me, that Easter season. In that tradition, I am posting another this year.

I love the use of scripture to tell a story, to teach a lesson, to touch my heart.

May God,

through words He inspired,

and man brought together,

touch your heart this day of celebrating that

“God raised Him, on the third day.”

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Rest …

“By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing;
so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.
Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy,

because on it he rested from all the work of creating.”
Genesis 2:2-3

What is rest? And, specifically, what is Sabbath rest? Did God choose a day of rest because he was tired from creating the world? Is a Sabbath rest still a part of the New Covenant?

When God had finished creating the world, and all in it, He set aside a day in which “he rested.” Why did He rest? Was God fatigued?

Isaiah (40:28) would indicate that is not so; “the Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth Does not become weary or tired.”

So if God was not tired, rest, in this passage has a different meaning that we might first think. The Hebrew word used actually means to cease, to stop doing, to complete. This makes far more sense! Creator God had just finished the creation of the world and all in, under and on it. The world, as we know it, was completed, God had no more to add to it, it was done, and he ceased, rested.

After a month of school each weekday, laundry and taxi-driving kids each Saturday, church and football each Sunday, today is a day of rest for me. There is nothing that I have to do, there is no place that I have to go. It is a day of no expectations! It is a day full of possibilities! I could take my beast for a walk on the trail. I could sit and write a weeks worth of blog posts, I could read from the book that has been feeding my soul lately, I could play a game with the kids, I could make cookies, I could, I could, I could.

I struggle with understanding Sabbath rest. In the Christian life in which I live, the Sabbath is Sunday, a day to do something different, focus on God, spend time in His word, worship with other believers. But, I have to say, it is often void of rest; my definition (a day of no expectations), or the one above from Genesis (to cease). Since hubby works on the Sabbath, it is a day of many expectations, and because of my high energy in starting projects … and low energy in completing them, there is rarely a ceasing or completing.

In the New Testament (Matthew 11:28-30), Jesus speaks of rest, “come to me all who labor and are burdened and I will find rest for you. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am humble and gentle of spirit, you will find peace for your heart. For my yoke is pleasant and light is my burden.”

Although Jesus is not speaking of Sabbath rest directly, I think there could be a hint of it in his promise. He is speaking of the rest that he can provide if we are under the yoke that binds us together. The yoke binds us to him, allowing for us to be connected to him, dependent on his leading (the meaning of rest in this passage).

Maybe, if we allow ourselves to be yoked to Jesus, the rest that we so desire will be available to us … all week long.

 

 

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Woohoo! It was a summer Sunday and I got to skip church, and go to the beach! Could life get better? Sun, sand, surf, and an endless horizon.Okay, so maybe it wasn’t quite like that. As a matter of fact there was no sun, not even blue sky. It looked like it might rain at any moment. It was cool, and breezy, and the forecast even had thunder and lightening in it.

I also did not get to skip church.

A twelve-year old friend of my son had invited us to a church service and to his baptism. We arrived, late, but thankfully the service had not yet begun. So, donning our flip flops and opening our camp chairs, we settled in to an outdoor sanctuary (my person favorite).

I cannot remember the songs that were sung. I do remember that the pastor talked about John the Baptist, baptizing Jesus, then his time of being tempted in the desert.

Matthew 3 tells this story.

John the Baptist wore clothes made of camel hair, and he ate locusts and honey … and I am pretty sure there was no chocolate to make the locusts go down easier! He also had just emerged from quite a while in the wilderness, so he probably was quite … naturally scented. If he were here today, he would probably go by ‘Johnny’, and most would see him as the equivalent of a hippie.

His message was, “repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” (v.2)

Then his cousin Jesus, who once set his feet to dancing while in-utero (John Lept), came to the river, and asked John to baptize him too. John was not so cool with that, as he felt way to under-qualified to do the deed. But, since Jesus is Jesus, John consented.

Now, back at MY beach: each of the three who chose to be baptized stood, spoke about why they wanted to be baptized, then whoever wanted to could go up, lay hands on them, and pray for them. It was pretty meaningful as friends, grandparents, and mentors spoke words of thanks, words of affirmation and words of blessing to God, on their behalf.

My son’s friend shared of how a close family tragedy made him look more seriously at his life. His words, though those of a twelve year old, were ones that reflected insight, awareness and desire for what he was choosing to do.

I am sure there were tears in every eye … I just couldn’t see them through my own.

Then people were invited to come and pray for him. His grandfather prayed, another youth prayed, then a familiar voice … that of my son. He spoke to our God as one who knows Him, intimately. He spoke as one who knows his friend, and who wants the very best for his buddy.

… and more tears were shed.

Then we all made our way to the water, where one by one, the three completed their public profession of a life committed to living with Christ, with an endless horizon as their backdrop.

… and more tears were shed.

As my son’s friend came to the edge of the water his mother hugged him, as did his father, who said, “I am proud of you, son” (or something very similar).

Oh, and the rest of the story from Matthew 3 …

“As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” (v. 16-17)

An endless horizon.

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Last year, on Easter Sunday, I posted a video (More than Chocolate) that had been speaking to me, that Easter season. In that tradition, I am posting another this year.

I love the use of scripture to tell a story, to teach a lesson, to touch my heart.

May God,

through words He inspired,

and man brought together,

touch your heart this day of celebrating that

“God raised Him, on the third day.”

Read Full Post »

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