Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Sabbath Rest

CALL TO PRAYER
So then, a sabbath rest still remains for the people of God; for those who enter God’s rest also cease from their labors as God did from his.
—Hebrews 4:9-10
PSALM
Return my soul now to your rest,
because the Lord has been
so good to you; for you indeed
my soul from death set free.
—Psalm 116:7-8
Suggested tune (St. Anne):
TEXT OF THE DAY
Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude. And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done.
—Genesis 2:1-2
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Once strangers and enemies of the Great King, we are now brought near by the blood of Christ. We know this because God has sworn his covenant mercies in the gospel and ratified them in our baptism and in the Supper. Yet just as with the preaching of the gospel, Christ must be personally embraced through faith. The gospel was preached to the wilderness generation long ago, we are reminded in Hebrews, but they did not respond to it in faith. Though they had been circumcised in the flesh, their hearts remained uncircumcised. Nevertheless, "we who have believed enter that rest" (Heb. 4:2-3). Through Word and sacrament, God gives us the title deed to the estate, but we must beware of forfeiting our inheritance like Esau. We must embrace the reality that is promised in and through the signs. "So then, a sabbath rest still remains for the people of God; for those who enter God’s rest also cease from their labors as God did from his" (Heb. 4:9-10).
—Michael Horton, The Christian Faith
MORNING PRAYER
Just as I look forward ultimately to the day of creation's redemption and the fulfillment of all things in Christ, help me, O God, to look forward to your sabbath, that in its rest, I may better understand your graceful gifts, and more deeply feel your life-giving, life-renewing power. Help me to keep your day holy, that I may be transformed by the power of your Spirit and conformed to the Image of your Son, even Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen.

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