Berlin Sunday Service: The Lord Blessed the Sabbath Day and Made it Holy

7 June, 2020 – Berlin Immanuel Church gathered this Sunday to meditate on the Fourth Commandment in Exodus 20:8-11. Sabbath, meaning ‘rest’ in Hebrew, was a day rooted in God’s works of creation (Ex 20:11) and God’s works of salvation (Deut 5:15). It is a day to rest from our own works and remember the works of God. A day to remember that even though we live by the works of our hands, we depend on God’s grace. Jesus corrected the Pharisees, who made keeping the commandment a burden by focusing on man’s works, saying in Mark 2:27 that “the Sabbath was made for man” and not the other way around. Jesus was also the Lord of Sabbath (Mark 2:28) and invited those who are weary and burdened to find true rest in him (Matthew 11:28). And so the Fourth Commandment is not about not doing work simply, but it’s one day out of seven we are to keep apart to remember God’s grace and receive his blessing. The Sabbath points to the final rest of God’s restored Kingdom when all things will rest in his grace. It points to the truth that we were created to live in the rest of the seventh day of God’s creation, and that despite our sin, God delivers the world from sin through Christ to restore the eternal rest. We do our works six days, but we must set one apart to remember we live for this hope of God’s kingdom. We do our works six days, but we can do nothing apart from God, our creator and our savior. Sabbath is a sign of God’s covenant with his people (Exodus 31:12-13). We are God’s people when we remember God’s sacrificial love of creation and the great grace of Christ who gave his life to bestow us with the true rest. May this truth be at the center of our lives, for God made us with a purpose of love, it is God who makes us holy, who chose us and set us apart in this world to display his glory through us as we gather to worship him and serve one another.