Saturday, April 30, 2016

This week's lesson (April 30 - May 6): Resting in Christ

Remember the Sabbath, to keep it . . . busy.

Look at the way Jesus spends his Sabbaths, after all.
  • He heals a demoniac (Mark 1:21-26).
  • He heals Peter's mother-in-law (Mark 1:29-31).
  • He heals a man with a withered hand (Matthew 12:9-13).
  • He heals a crippled woman (Luke 13:10-17).
  • He heals a man suffering from edema (Luke 14:1-6).
  • He heals a crippled man at the Pool of Bethesda (John 5:1-15).
  • He heals a man born blind (John 9:1-41).
What's more, all of these miracles are elective procedures. They are not needed to save lives; they all address chronic conditions that could have waited until sundown to be healed.
But Jesus heals these people now. 
On the Sabbath.
In front of people who get all kinds of grief from the Gentiles -- who are continually being told they are lazy and shiftless -- because they follow God's command to rest on the seventh-day.
And no, I'm not entirely sure myself just what these miracles say about the way we keep Sabbath.
(Though I am a little nervous about parents who use them as an excuse to schedule community service activities on the Sabbath for their children -- community service activities that just happen to look good on their college applications.)
But if nothing else, it tells us something about the way God keeps Sabbath.
Yes, it tells us that God is always ready to heal us, always ready to mend us, always ready to give us a taste of what heaven is like.
We can rest in God's love, in other words -- and the Sabbath can be a reminder of that rest.
That's because God is always on the job.
Even on the Sabbath.

This is a repeat of the lesson from April 29, 2014.

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