Archive for August, 2008
One of my friends recently commented that the weekly Sabbath rest has been eclipsed by Jesus Christ Who has become our ultimate Rest. They explained that they experience spiritual rest in Christ everyday, and therefore didn’t see any value in “the shadow” of weekly rest. “Every day is holy,” they chimed.
I agreed that even now we are already “seated in the heavenly places”, that is spiritually… or are we there yet?! Ever so dearly I look forward to the fullness of Christ appearing, and being closer to that promise.
But this week I’ve worked hard. My knuckles bled where I damaged them while concreting, and the heavy steel beams I lifted around last weekend made my legs feel like rubber for a few days. I lay awake last night, after a stressful day solving other people’s IT issues.
So when Friday evening comes, and our family stops from servile work and shares a nice meal together preceded by prayer, it comes as a genuine relief to simply cease from the rigours of work and just rest. In the busyness of life, play and work, we sometimes neglect the recurring rhythym of rest that God Himself instituted at creation. And how we respond physically in those small, day to day responsibilites reflect a faith that only God knows the value of.
So the Sabbath brings with it’s weekly arrival not only rest, but in lacking the spirit of servile work allows us to meaningfully meditate on and experience those Godly things that may otherwise lose their significance.
Don’t let anyone suggest to you that the weekly Sabbath blessing is irrelevant. Those who have really laboured during the week know what true rest means.
I encourage you to stop and rest this weekend – on the Lord’s Day. Which day? To his Jewish critics, Jesus said: “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath.”
The Sabbath is the Lord’s Day.
In the past few months, we’ve experimented by uploading a few sermons online in streaming format. The topics that have finally made it online have complimented the material we’ve been presenting on MessageWeek, and we’ve found that the longer messages are able to perhaps a little more deeply explore each subject.
One of our key themes over the past decade has been The Hope of the Resurrection. It’s amazing how many different views there are on this. Some years ago now I began to work on a more comprehensive work in the form of a book, and for various reasons, those synoptic notes have only now moved on to forming a text that, we hope, will help in exploring a subject that’s core to the Bible’s message.
The most recent sermon online looks at John’s testimony of Lazarus being resurrected by Jesus. We hope you find this message helpful and encouraging.