God is Gracious
GOD’S FOURTH COMMANDMENT SHOWS HIS GRACE.
Bible Reading of the Day: Read Exodus 20:8-10.
Verse of the Day: “The Sabbath was made to benefit people” (Mark 2:27).
“Do you know what tomorrow is?” Mom asked Luke and Hannah. “God’s Day!” the children shouted in unison.
“What’s ‘God’s Day’?” asked Jenny, the woman who lived next door. She had dropped by to return a pair of hedge clippers that Mom had loaned to her, and Mom had invited her in for a cup of tea.
Mom smiled at her neighbor. “That’s what the children call Sunday,” she explained. Jenny didn’t attend church, although Mom had invited her several times.
“They like going to church?” Jenny asked, a tone of surprise in her voice.
“Oh, yes,” Mom answered. “They love Sunday school and church as much as Ben and I do,” Mom said, referring to her husband. “But God’s Day is more than that.”
“More?” Jenny said, sipping her tea.
“God’s Day is special to them because it means going to Sunday school and church. It’s also special because it means their daddy doesn’t go to work. He gets to spend all day with us, and it’s always a very special day. Sometimes we go hiking. Sometimes we play games together. Sometimes we sit and read stories together.”
“It sounds really nice,” Jenny said dreamily.
“Oh, it is, Jenny,” Mom answered. “You see, God commanded his people to observe the Sabbath for their own good. It shows how loving and gracious he is.” Mom picked up the teapot and refilled Jenny’s cup. “He didn’t have to finish the work of creating the heavens and the earth in six days. He didn’t rest because he was tired. He rested on the seventh day in order to establish a Sabbath for us humans. He set aside one day for us to worship him and to be refreshed and restored.”
“Makes sense,” Jenny said. “My husband hasn’t taken a day off in months. I think it’s really starting to take its toll on him.”
Mom nodded sympathetically. “The Sabbath also reminds us that the world will go on without us, and that we don’t have to do it all.”
A long moment of silence passed between the two women. Finally, Jenny broke the silence. “Thank you,” she said. She took a final sip of tea. “I must get some of this for myself,” she said.
“Here,” Mom said, standing, “let me give you a few tea bags. It’s just herbal tea.” “I wasn’t talking about the tea,” Jenny answered.
TO DO: This week do something special that will honor the Lord’s Day and make it different from every other day this week. You might unplug the television, sing worship songs, look at family photo albums, or play board games together.
TO PRAY: “Lord, your special day is our special day too. Thank you for being a gracious God.”