Friday, October 14, 2011

The Sabbath and Heidelberg

Lord's Day 38

Q. What is God's will for you
   in the fourth commandment?

A. First,
      that the gospel ministry and education for it be maintained,
      and that, especially on the festive day of rest,
      I regularly attend the assembly of God's people
      to learn what God's Word teaches,
      to participate in the sacraments,
      to pray to God publicly,
      and to bring Christian offerings for the poor.

      that every day of my life
      I rest from my evil ways,
      let the Lord work in me through his Spirit,
      and so begin already in this life
      the eternal Sabbath.

I found the second part of the Heidelberg Catechism's answer to this question intriguing. To be honest, I've never heard that concept related to the day of rest. This is a wonderful facet of what 'rest' means for those under the New Covenant. To rest from my evil ways is a compelling admonition that addresses our participation in our sanctification. It is also very apparent that it is often sin that steals our rest from, whether that be in the pursuit of fame or money, or in the fretting and anxiousness of a heart not fully trusting in the goodness of our sovereign God. Let's practice the observance of the Sabbath today and in the power of Christ rest from our evil ways.

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