Today’s Word from Pastor Jim…
I have decided to take the day off from writing. After 40 months of writing several hundred of these pastor missives, I just need a bit of a break. There is a reason that God rested on the seventh day. The creative energy of days one through six left God exhausted, needing a Sabbath rest. Following that lead, and the Third Commandment, I am taking this Saturday off. I will offer no daily word today.
Of course, the Genesis story is not a literal or scientific rendering of creation. So, I am not absolutely sure that God took the day off to nap, golf, or watch football. It is hard for us to understand the radical nature of that Third Commandment.
Prior to the giving of the 10 Commandments humans had no days off, no weekends, no holidays. The children of Israel lived in slavery in Egypt. Slaves do not get days off. A day of rest, or renewal, breaking the monotony of work was unheard of. The 10 Commandments, sometime discounted as restrictive religious laws, were in fact, pure gift. A gift from God to order society for a people who were living in freedom for the first time.
Society needs order. Order provides security. If everyone kept the 10 Commandments, not because they were commanded but because they were beneficial, our lives would be so much better. Imagine no longer needing to lock your home or car; imagine a world where crime, adultery, and uncivil discourse did not exist.
The gift of Sabbath was God’s invention, one day in seven to slow down and to contemplate our blessings and the marvelous creation entrusted to us. One day in seven to go for long walks, to gather with people of faith, to muse upon God’s word, to sing songs of praise, to spend time with your family without the worry of work.
The Sabbath is number three in a gift package of ten. If you keep the 10 Commandments close to your heart, if you consult them when facing a major life decision, or a temptation, then you are more likely to experience the abundant life that God desires for you. I like to think of the 10 Commandments like the guardrails on the side of the road on a high mountain pass. They are not there to restrict your joy; they are to save you from unnecessary pain or death.
So, after 40 months, I am taking a break today. There will be no daily word. Unless you count this one.
Blessed to be a blessing!
I am your,