“Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy” (Exodus 20:8). Every creature of God needs rest. The seventh day of the week was designated to be a rest day. It was also a day to ponder the wonders of creation which God finished in six days. The Sabbath, which means REST, pointed to a greater REST to come. Since God’s beautiful creation was vandalized by Satan and sin, man not only was forced to “eat his bread by the sweat of his brow” (Gen. 3), humanity also bore the weight of guilt and the burdens of conflict, disease, poverty, grief and loneliness. Jesus Himself is the Sabbath. He is Lord of the Sabbath. He invites, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you REST” (Matt. 11:28). Another Scripture refers to the Sabbath Day, along with certain ceremonial laws, as a shadow which is made by Jesus Christ (Colossians 2:16,17). He provides this Sabbath REST by His death and resurrection.
We come to Him and REST by hearing His Word and receiving the sacrament and believing the words, “My body given for you…My blood of the New Testament shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.” The promise for those who hear and believe is this also, “There remains a REST for the people of God” (Hebrews 4:9), affirmed in Revelation 14:13, “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on, yes, says the Spirit, that they may REST from their labors.” Come and partake of this rest with us at Peace Lutheran Church. Bible Class is at 8:00 a.m. Sunday service is at 9:00 a.m. Christmas Eve Candlelight Service is at 6:00 p.m.
Christmas! What is the big deal? The birth and coming of Jesus Christ brought light to a world of darkness. The Bible tells us He is our Savior from the curse of sin. History records how His coming transformed civilization. In his book, HOW CHRISTIANITY TRANSFORMED CIVILIZATION, Dr. A. J. Schmidt describes these changes. 1) Human life was given value, in a time when unwanted children were abandoned and gladiators entertained by killing their opponent. 2) Marriage and family were affirmed in a time when boy lovers were common among the nobility and infidelity to the spouse the rule. 3) Women became treasured wives in a time when the culture viewed them as property. 4) Slavery was eventually abolished in a culture where 7 out of 10 people were slaves. His book goes on for 10 more chapters.
The prophet Isaiah had foretold, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them light has shined” (9:2). History records how dark the darkness and how great the Light of Christ. Celebrate with us at Peace Lutheran Church. Christmas Eve Candlelight Service is at 6:00 p.m. Christmas Sunday service is at 9:00 a.m.
The Second Commandment (some regard it the third) as we read from Exodus 20 is this, “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.” One’s name gathers meaning by what that person says and does. A person’s name is also a person’s reputation. The reputation of good people can be destroyed by lies.
God’s name is more than a combination of the alphabet. His name—whether God, Yahweh, Almighty, LORD–gathers meaning by what He says and does. This is recorded for us in Holy Scripture, the Bible. God’s name is what the Bible says about Him. When people lie about God, this affects His name. When Christians, are unkind, cheat, steal, commit adultery, this affects His name. The reputation of God is sullied. His name is “misused.”
God gives us His name so that we may know Him as our Creator and Redeemer, that we may pray to Him, believe in Him, praise and thank Him. Anything less is to “misuse the name of the Lord your God.” Come to Peace Lutheran Church to honor the name of God among us. Bible Class is at 8:00 a.m., Divine Service is at 9:00 a.m., Wednesday Advent Service is at 7:00 p.m.
God’s first command is, “You shall have no other gods.” Who is this God who makes such an exclusive demand? In Exodus 20 the people of God could know that He miraculously brought them out them of slavery in Egypt (Exodus 7-15). On other occasions He introduced Himself In this way: “I am the Lord who made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by Myself” (Isaiah 44:24). In the New Testament He is introduced as “The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph. 1:3), and “who has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter1:3). This is the God “who so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
This God is “a jealous God” (Exodus 20:5). As our Creator and Redeemer, He has every right to have us for Himself. Like a husband whose wife has forsaken him for another man, God is both hurt and angry when people turn to other gods, be they of other religions, money/possessions, or personal power and accomplishments. The call to repent is to recognize our sins against the First Commandment and turn to God’s only remedy for sin, Jesus Christ. Join with Peace Lutheran Church in this season of Advent. Sunday Bible Class is at 8:00 a.m., Divine Service at 9:00 a.m., Wednesday Advent service at 7:00 p.m.