From the Pastor’s Heart

[The LORD said] “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the
seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God.” Exodus 20:8-10

The world is a busy, noisy place filled with people at work and play. Our culture is one in which we try to fill every moment with the sights and sounds of modern day life. There is so much to choose from, so much to do, and so little time. The “other” gods of the world demand our precious time and we have to work longer and harder to make enough money to appease them.

The rhythm and pace of life today drives us to unhealthy habits of eating fast food (The defendant will rise), neglecting our families, (Guilty as charged), and not getting the rest needed to rejuvenate our bodies. (Bailiff, take him away!)

The world is so busy and distracted, that the voices of competition, success, selfishness, pride and pleasure deafen our ears while filling our hearts and minds with earthly troubles. But as God’s people grow quiet and still, we hear yet another voice. We hear that whispering voice that calls out to us. As we listen even closer, we hear the voice of God.

If we can only break out of the fast paced cycle of life set by “other gods” we will soon find that it is the one true God who truly establishes the rhythm of life. God blesses his people with all we need. He allows six days for work and gives the seventh for rest, worship, and prayer.

According to Luther’s Small Catechism, we are to fear, love, and trust in God, so that we may be rested and refreshed; not only by our taking time away from unnecessary work, but especially by gathering with the people of God to worship, pray, to hear God’s Word as it is preached and to receive the Sacrament of the Altar which is Holy Communion. Remembering the Sabbath begins with God’s people gathering as a community. We celebrate the love that God so freely gives to the world. Remembering the Sabbath day means we acknowledge God is the source of our very lives and livelihood. Keeping it holy means we gather with the saints for worship and thanksgiving.

As we consider this commandment, remember to pray for those who are under stress from overwork, sleepless nights, and driven by the urgency of a fallen and broken world. Pray for those who continually choose earthly pleasure over giving
thanks to the one who makes them possible. Pray for the ones who feel lost and have no one to turn to and for anyone who might feel abandoned, neglected or afraid. Pray for our church family, that we might continue to listen to God’s call for us as a community of believers who are working and living together in the peace of Christ. And finally, pray that for one day in seven, all may find peace and rest, so that we may also hear the whispering voice of God calling all people unto himself, that we may refresh ourselves by drinking from the living water of Christ Jesus, abiding in his Word and sharing the gospel wherever they may go.

Here in the midst of our Lenten journey, we have the opportunity to renew our commitment to striving toward keeping God’s Ten Commandments, especially toward our commitment to weekly worship and keeping the Sabbath holy. Let this be our prayer throughout these forty days.

Grace and peace,

     Pastor David Nuottila