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Tuesday Tidings, April 22, 2024

Dearest Members of Bethlehem,


“Remember the Sabbath Day and keep it holy.” Exodus 20:8


What you see above is one of the Ten Commandments, not a mere prohibition, but rather a promise… embrace this spiritual practice and your life, and your family’s life will be richer for the observance.  Yes, that’s what the commandments were all about, making our way to a life more reflective of God’s hope for us and our communities.


Now, typically, this would be the spot where you might expect your pastor to begin moralizing.  You shouldn’t be working on the Sabbath; no grass cutting, no card playing, and certainly… no dancing!  Now, if that’s your thing, and that works for you; then more power to you, may God bless you in your Sabbath observance.  But I have a hunch, that for most of us, keeping the Sabbath holy involves a little more nuance.


So, how do we keep the Sabbath “holy” in 2024?  The same way we would make anything “holy,” we set it aside, keep it sacred.  Perhaps a little ironically, this might take a little extra effort.


It may be the case that you have a soccer game on Sunday morning.  Sunday sports aren’t going away, but neither is the power and presence of the Spirit.  Could you do a brief devotion during breakfast?  What would it mean to pause before hopping out of the car and sharing a quick prayer as a family?  How about competing with fairness, or with a spirit of gratitude for the health and ability that enable you to participate? 


I know, I know… some will be working in the garden on Sunday afternoon.  Should we stow the “Miracle Gro” and sit silently on the porch?  That’s likely not going to happen, so before you start digging in, take two minutes and google, “Bible passages about gardening.”  What did you find, anything pop up worthy of contemplation?  Now, go tend your little vineyard with a different state of mind.


And even the folks that never miss a week’s worth of worship, please don’t assume you’ve got it all covered, because you’ve checked church off your to-do list!  Oh no, before you come bounding into Bethlehem take a couple of deep breaths, let the Spirit enter in, and promise yourself that you will be offering God the best of yourself during the liturgy.  After all, the liturgy is quite literally the “work of the people,” far be it from us to be cutting corners on that one sacred day.


So many of us look back and have such fond memories of those special Sundays that we shared with our families.  I know that things change, but having one day a week absolutely bathed in the glory of God is worth keeping as a tradition, even it is with a couple of creative modifications. 


Question for reflection: What do you appreciate most about your Sabbath days?


Yours in Christ,

Pastor Dan


Gracious Lord inspire us, give us such a sense of your goodness, blessing, and abundance that we simply cannot help but offer our thanks and praise, not only on the Sabbath, but every day.  We pray this in the name of our risen Lord Jesus Christ, amen.

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