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Texts: Exodus 20:11, Deuteronomy 5:15, Isaiah 44:15-20, Romans 6:16-23, Matthew 11:28-30

The lesson this week traces the links between the call to worship God as creator and redeemer and the Sabbath that was established as a day of commemoration, the final act of the creation story of Genesis 1 and Genesis 2.

  • Read the Genesis account of the establishment of the Sabbath just to refresh your mind of the details of the story.
    • Why did God establish the Sabbath in the beginning?
    • The words “sanctify” indicates a setting of something apart from common use. How do you think we can sanctify the Sabbath in our own experiences?
  • In Revelation 14:6-7, an angel is depicted flying in the “midst of heaven” calling out with a loud voice to all who inhabit the earth that they should fear God, give glory to Him, and worship Him, for “the hour of his judgment is come.” The call to worship is predicated on the fact that God “made heaven, and earth, the sea, and the fountains of waters.” In other words, the creatorship of God is what warrants human worship of God.
    • What links can you make between these verses and the Sabbath as it was constituted at Creation?
    • What does it mean to “remember the Sabbath day…?” Why the word “remember?”
    • What would you say about the fact that God established a memorial not made of stone, or wood, or some other substance, but of time?
  • Spend some time reading and reflecting on Paul’s words to the Colossian Christians as found in Colossians 1:13-22
    • What links does Paul make between Christ’s role as Creator and his role as Redeemer?
    • How might these two elements be tied to worship?
    • How might these two themes be linked to Sabbath observance?
  • In Deuteronomy 5:15, there is a verse that links the observance of the Sabbath to God’s deliverance of his people from slavery in Egypt.
    • Notice that the exodus event becomes a metaphor of all manner of deliverances done by God.
    • Jesus performed many miracles of healing on the Sabbath day during his time here on earth. Why do you think he chose to do such miracles on the Sabbath day?
  • Exodus 31:12-17 establishes the Sabbath as a perpetual sign between God and his people.
    • What would be the significance of the Sabbath as a sign?
    • Part of this passage involves a specific injunction against working on the Sabbath. The primary meaning of this is that the Sabbath should not be used as a routine work day. Why such a prohibition?
    • Reflect on the power of symbol and ritual to help keep the memory of something alive in human experience. Can you name some powerful rituals? Are there some that are particularly powerful in your experience?
  • The Gospels record that Jesus died on a Friday, rested on a Sabbath, then rose on a Sunday.
    • What links can you make between Jesus being in the tomb resting on the Sabbath and the whole historical theme of Sabbath as rest and commemoration?
    • Think about the various implications of the Sabbath and its effects on the idea of evolutionary origins.

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