I’m currently in a study with a few of students who are away at college. This past week we’ve been daily looking at scriptures related to embracing Sabbath. This is one of my favorite topics that I could write so much about, but this week one word stood out to me:
So much of Sabbath living is about remembering. Back in Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5 we’re invited and commanded to “remember the Sabbath day”. Specifically, in the second account, God’s people were invited to remember the days they were in slavery, when they couldn’t rest or worship whenever they wanted. Each week God invited them to pause, recall the slavery and then celebrate the choice to rest that wasn’t provided before, to remember God’s powerful redemption and rescue. Each week God invites us to remember and celebrate God’s rescue of us, to pause in gratitude and rest in the realization that our salvation is not dependent on our own work.
In Psalm 95, which we also read this week, the author recounts the things God did for the people in the past and calls them to come and give thanks for what God had done… another way to remember as they gathered in worship.
Within the context of worship, Communion is another space in which we remember. First Corinthians 11 quotes Jesus instituting this meal saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this is remembrance of me… This cup is the new covenant between God and His people–an agreement confirmed with my blood. Do this in remembrance of me as often as you drink it.”
This concept of remembering seems to describe well the essence of Sabbath.
I heard it once said that remembering helps “re-member” us. All week long the demands and to-do lists, and expectations all strive to dismember us, to fragment our minds and hearts and souls. And on days like today–when we pause before the altar, pause with our families, pause to rest, pause to recall who He is and who we are–He puts us back together again. As we remember Christ, we are re-membered.
Jesus as we come to your table today, re-member us as we remember You. Amen.