Daily Office Readings for Saturday of the 1st Week of Epiphany: year 2
Morning, Psalms 20 and 21:1to 7; Evening, Psalms110:1to 5, and 116 and 117;
Genesis 6:9 to 22; Hebrews 4:1 to 13; John 2:13 to 22;
“So then, a Sabbath rest still remains for the people of God;’ (Hebrews 4:9).
Today, Saturday is our assigned Sabbath Rest, a gift from God. We should attend to it in a contemplative manner.
When I served in the Marines in Saudi Arabia, during the liberation of Kuwait, Desert Shield and Desert Storm, those of us who were Christian counted the weeks there by our Sundays. Two Sunday traditions took place where we were. First, the chaplain came to our maintenance compound to conduct a Church Service. I remember that I led the Lord’s Prayer helping those who wanted to participate but didn’t know the words. Second, our mess hall (dining facility), prepared pancakes for breakfast! This was a big deal. During this non-liturgical breaking of the “pancake” bread we got to see others with whom we came over with but do not work with on a daily basis. We celebrated each week as time passed until we boarded planes for home.
I have matured theologically since that time, or at least I think I have. Now, after careful study of scripture, I believe the God-given day for all of us is Saturday, the seventh day of the week. I still worship on Sundays but I think there is a difference between worship and rest. This rest we enter is not ours alone. It is God’s rest. And we are invited to be at rest with God. That day is today.
I will close this blog page for today with the closing words of our Hebrews writer for today for you to ponder: “For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not speak later about another day. So then, a Sabbath rest still remains for the people of God; for those who enter God’s rest also cease from their labors as God did from his. Let us therefore make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one may fall through such disobedience as theirs. Indeed, the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And before him no creature is hidden, but all are naked and laid bare to the eyes of the one to whom we must render an account.” (Hebrews 4: 8 to 13)
We should celebrate each Sabbath until we are taken to our eternal home.
As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John