2nd Thursday in Lent
You are to hallow the day of rest.
What is this? Answer: We are to fear and love God, so that we do not despise preaching or God’s Word, but instead keep that Word holy and gladly hear and learn it.
What is meant by “keeping it holy”? Nothing else than devoting it to holy words, holy works, and holy living. The day itself does not need to be made holy, for it was created holy. But God wants it to be holy for you. So it becomes holy or unholy on your account, depending on whether you spend it doing something holy or unholy. How does such sanctifying take place? Not when we sit behind the stove and refrain from hard work, or place a garland on our head and dress up in our best clothes, but, when we make use of God’s Word and exercise ourselves in it.
Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the Sabbath; so the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.” Mark 2:27-28
SILENCE FOR MEDITATION
Exodus 20: Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy, six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh is a Sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested the seventh day.
Luther’s famous hymn “A Mighty Fortress is our God” confirms that in our worship service, God is among us. If we do not honor the third commandment and rest for one day, in our case it is Sunday, we miss a lot. Worship gives us energy, and it refreshes our spirits. That is why it is important for Christians to be connected to a church. In participating in worship, we obey the third commandment. For me personally attending worship weekly is very important. As food and water nourishes our bodies, worship services on Sunday nourishes our spirit.
The Blue Laws have their origin in protection of religious practices dating back to the 17th and 18th century. In 1983 the ban on Sunday sales was lifted. The governor at that time signed the bill reluctantly, saying he favored keeping Sunday a day for the family. I remember how churches opposed the lifting of the so called Blue Laws, including our Pastor Bean, but unfortunately the legislature won. Since then, Sunday church worship services have a lot of competition, and in addition to that young people have to participate in sport activities. Families have difficulty finding time to go to church on Sunday.
We find strength to be faithful to God, because God is faithful in dealing with us. It is important to practice our faith regularly and our Sunday worship services reinforces this and I would not want to be without it.
Almighty God, thank you for creating a day just to praise you. Your will be done on earth as in heaven. I pray that we continue to keep the Christian tradition and remember the third commandment. Amen
Go for a walk with family or friends and pick trash along the way. Put a coin in your bank for each item recovered.