Weekly Update: March 1, 2016

    And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.

Genesis 2:2-3 ESV

Dear Family, 

The concept of setting aside a whole day to rest and delight in God runs completely counter to the frenzied culture in which we live. Too often we fly through life at a fast clip, unable to keep up with the demands around us. Too many of us are on the verge of burnout, whether physical, emotional, or spiritual. We should see the Sabbath not just as a command from God, but as a beautiful gift from Him, an invitation to find the rest that we need in order to be sustained over the long haul.

The word Sabbath comes from the Hebrew word meaning "to cease, to stop working." It means doing nothing related to your work for a twenty-four hour period each week. This day is meant to be "holy," meaning "separate, a cut above" the other six days. This is a time when we should intentionally stop our normal work activities (unplug!), engage in truly restful activities, delight in God’s creation, and take time for the contemplation and worship of God. 

In the world’s eyes, the Sabbath is inefficient and unproductive. Yet it has been said that “To fail to see the value of simply being with God and ‘doing nothing’ is to miss the heart of Christianity.” May each of us embrace the gift of Sabbath-keeping and find refreshment for our bodies and souls!

I am excited to be back in the pulpit this Sunday. We will be continuing the series on the Holy Spirit as we look at Ephesians 4:7-16 and consider the topic of spiritual gifts. We will also be observing the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. 

Heidelberg Catechism Q. 81: For whom is the Lord's Supper instituted? 
A.: For those who are truly sorrowful for their sins (Matt. 5:3,6; Luke 7:37-38; 15:18-19), and yet trust that these are forgiven them for the sake of Christ; and that their remaining infirmities are covered by His passion and death (Ps. 103:3); and who also earnestly desire to have their faith more and more strengthened, and their lives more holy (Ps. 116:12-14; 1 Pet. 2:11-12); but hypocrites, and such as turn not to God with sincere hearts, eat and drink judgment to themselves (1 Cor. 10:20, etc.; 1 Cor. 11:28, etc.; Titus 1:16; Ps. 50:15-16). 

Grace and peace,

Keith