This devotion series is brought to you by Pastor Ricky Jacob, serving the Winnebago people at Jesus Our Savior Lutheran Church and Preschool. (Need to go back to week 1, click here.)
All this week I am addressing those who are the head of the family and their God-given calling and responsibility to instruct their household in spiritual matters. The basis for our reflection today is on one of the commands that Creator God inscribed in stone and first gave to Moses.
Today we will focus on these words: "Remember the Sabbath Day by keeping it holy." The word 'Sabbath' is a Hebrew word for 'rest.' For the Jewish people, this day begins with the setting of the sun on Friday and lasts until the setting of the sun on Saturday.
A songwriter once put this command to music, "Remember the Sabbath Day by keeping it holy." here are the words:
"You shall observe the worship day That peace may fill your home, and pray,
And put aside the work you do, So that God may work in you."
Have mercy, Lord!
[LSB #581 These Are the Holy Ten Commands ML]
As the head of the household, one is responsible for leading his or her family in spiritual matters and this command directly addresses this matter. Each and every day there should be times taken to offer words of thanks and praise to God. In some homes the day begins with a prayer of thanks for a new day, prayers are often said at meal times, as well as at the close of day.
Christian families are encouraged to read a portion of Scripture, to meditate on a devotion or Bible story. And then there is the opportunity to gather as the family of God on Sunday morning. Christians gather at the gracious invitation of God at His house and to receive His blessings, through both His Sacred Word and Mysterious gifts of grace received in God's Sacraments.
Dr. Martin Luther taught his flock this simple explanation of this command of God:
We should fear and love God so that we do not despise preaching and His Word, but hold it sacred and gladly hear and learn it.
Sadly many fail to receive God's blessings or take the opportunity to encourage others and to pray for the needs of those hurting as the family of God. In other words, they despise God's Sacred Word and His commands to gladly hear and learn from it. Those who fail to lead their family to God's house are not only neglecting their God-given responsibility, they are teaching their family that God is not really all that important. However, those who do take this responsibility seriously will reap the benefits in years to come.
This has been Pastor Ricky Jacob of Jesus Our Savior Lutheran Church and preschool, of Winnebago. I close with the words of God: “God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love." [1st John 4:16b-18 NIV]