Reflections: January 27, 2021
Wednesday after the Transfiguration
By Jacob Ehrhard
Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. (Small Catechism: The Third Commandment)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Days are governed by the sun, months by the moon, and years by the stars, but a week is governed by God's Word. The Sabbath is the rhythm of creation. In six days God spoke and the world and all its inhabitants were created. But on the seventh day He rested. "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 2:3).
Every seven days after God's day of rest, the world rests and God speaks. Sabbath means rest, but it is a rest for the purpose of listening to God's Word. "We should fear and love God so that we do not despise preaching and His Word, but hold it sacred and gladly hear and learn it" (Small Catechism: The Third Commandment, Explanation).
God gave His Word to Adam and Eve with the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Every other tree was for eating; this tree was for listening. But they listened to the wrong voices. Eve listened to the serpent and Adam listened to Eve. Sin replaced Sabbath when Eve and Adam despised preaching and God's Word and replaced it with their own work.
Because of sin, the Sabbath could never offer true rest. We, like our first parents, are always more interested in offering God our work rather than our ears. But where Sabbath rest was once ruined at a tree, it is restored at a tree--the Tree. As the sun set on the sixth day of a holy week, the Son of God closed His eyes, bowed His head, and gave up His Spirit. They had to get His body into a tomb quickly because that Sabbath was a high holy day.
And the Son of God rested a rest unlike any other. His rest in the tomb restored our Sabbath rest because after the death of Jesus, there is no work left to do. It is finished. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
"You shall observe the worship day That peace may fill your home, and pray, And put aside the work you do, So that God may work in you." Have mercy, Lord! ("These Are the Holy Ten Commands" LSB 581, st.4)
-Rev. Jacob Ehrhard is the pastor of St. John's Lutheran Church and School in Chicago, IL.
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