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The Forward Day by Day Meditation for July 15, 2021

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THURSDAY, July 15

Mark 2:27 Then [Jesus] said to them, “The sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the sabbath.”

First-century Jews needed to hear the second half of Jesus’ statement: people are not made for the sabbath. The sabbath had been turned into a set of legalistic rules, and Jesus was constantly battling the Scribes and Pharisees because of it.

But today, in the twenty-first century, we need to hear the first half of Jesus’ statement: the sabbath was made for humankind. We work more than ever, produce more than ever, and are more exhausted than ever.

Author and pastor A.J. Swoboda quipped that Christians don’t actually believe in the Ten Commandments; we believe in Nine Commandments and One Really Strong Suggestion. But the sabbath, the fourth commandment, was given to us as a gift—and not just to us, but to the marginalized, those without power or influence, those who have no choice but to work. The commandment specifies children, foreigners living in the land, household servants, even the animals—all were to be given a day of rest.

Instead of doing away with the sabbath, I think we would do well to honor it. It was made for us, after all.

MOVING FORWARD: What steps can you take to honor the sabbath?

PRAY for the Diocese on the Lake (Nigeria)

Ps 37:1-18 * 37:19-42 | 1 Samuel 20:24-42 | Acts 13:1-12 | Mark 2:23—3:6

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