Remember the Sabbath

This devotion, written by Grace Heimerdinger-Baake, Director of Youth and Family Ministry, is the third of a series on the Ten Commandments.

The Third Commandment

Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy. 

What does this mean? 

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.

-The Small Catechism, Martin Luther

“I’ve got a big test to study for on Monday, I am going to workout on Tuesday, confirmation is on Wednesday, practice on Thursday, Friday is Ankeny vs Ankeny basketball games, Saturday is all day Show Choir and I have Driver’s Ed on Sunday.” 

This is an absurd schedule, but it is not an abnormal schedule for our youth. What does your schedule look like? Is every minute scheduled to be as productive as possible? My schedule is about as absurd as the one I shared. Too often we wear the badge of “busy” on our chest as a gold star that proves we are worthy, but is our worth equivalent to everything we can accomplish in a week? 

I don’t think so. 

When God was creating the earth, God had a pretty busy schedule too. God created the earth in six days, but did something just as important on Day 7.  God rested. Did God really need to rest after forming the earth and all its creatures? No! God didn’t have to rest after creating the earth, but God knew that we humans do. Rest is essential for us to survive and thrive, but often we find ourselves sacrificing rest for work, relationships, and entertainment. God rested on the seventh day to give us rest, so that we can be refreshed, renewed, and ready to go out and share Jesus with the world. 

The gift of the sabbath gives us the opportunity to live out our baptismal promises. We are called to live in community, hear the word of God, share in the Lord’s supper, proclaim the Good News, serve all people as an example of Jesus, and strive for justice and peace. The sabbath also reminds us to let others rest: to accept and give “no” for an answer. 

God was intentional in giving us the sabbath, so let’s thank God for this gift by remembering to pause and spending time in hearing and learning God’s word.