Tony’s LCC Update 1/25/19

Hello LCCers,
I hope you are reading through the Gospels with us in our year-long plan of reading all the way through God’s Word in 2019! Cards with the daily readings are in the Welcome Center. Today’s reading is Mark 2. Several exciting things happen in this chapter, and at the end of it Jesus comes in to conflict with the Pharisees concerning the Sabbath. He and His disciples were hungry, and it was the Sabbath day, and as they went through some grain fields, they began to pull of the heads of the grain and eat them. The Pharisees hit the roof! The Sabbath dated back many 100’s of years, it is encoded in the 10 Commandments in Exodus 20, and everyone knew: No work! Just rest! And worship. And that was it.
The Pharisees were Big on the Sabbath. They’d gotten very specific with what one could and could not do on this day. Rules emerged. And more rules. “I did it right, you did not.” They’d gotten so specific that one couldn’t even be nice on the Sabbath! Without realizing it, all these new rules and all this tension they’d injected into the day had gotten them off of the main point of the whole thing.
And what was the point of the Sabbath? God instituted it not for Himself, but for His people! He wanted them to rest. And He wanted them to be able to remember, reflect, and worship. This was to be the point of the day. Without the Sabbath and its remembrance, its worship, what was the point of work? Of life itself? All the activity that people involve themselves in is for…what? Ahh, the Sabbath could give order to life! Put guardrails on it! Give life focus! After a day of rest and worship a man could feel…refreshed! God thought people could use a little refreshment and refocusing back then. Come to think of it, it wouldn’t hurt now, either, would it?
So Jesus was perpetually in conflict with the Pharisees about the Sabbath. They were always whining; He was forever pointing out that “the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath”(Mark 2:27)! He did at least 7 miracles on the Sabbath; a demon was cast out, a lame man was cured, a man with a withered hand was restored, a blind man could now see, and so forth. The Pharisees were not impressed or amused! Jesus didn’t care. He wanted them and those He taught to know: the Sabbath is a precious gift from God to man not for their burdens to grow, but for them to feel refreshed and reconnected to Him!
Since New Testament days, our Sabbath is Sunday, the Lord’s Day. Jesus was resurrected on a Sunday. The early believers gathered all the time, but their primary day was Sunday (Acts 20:7). It’s a primary day for us, too! A day not for rules. A day for rest, and remembrance, and refreshment!
I hope you will join us on Sunday for some refreshment! Our Sunday School classes gather at 9:30 am, and our worship begins at 10:45 am. Lord willing, I will see you then,