A short reading and prayer for today
They must realize that the Sabbath is the Lord’s gift to you. That is why he gives you a two-day supply on the sixth day, so there will be enough for two days. On the Sabbath day you must each stay in your place. Do not go out to pick up food on the seventh day.
Exodus 16:29 NLT
It was vital that the weekly rhythm of life was maintained in the desert. On the face of it, this was going to be difficult to achieve with God’s miraculous provision of daily food in the morning and evening. But God knew this and so provided the people with twice the normal supplies of food on a Friday in order to allow the Sabbath to be a day of rest. True to form, some of the people went out on the Sabbath to look for food and sure enough there was nothing there. The principle of a day of rest was foundational to their life together.
A day of rest continues to be of crucial importance to us today. Sundays have got progressively busier in recent years. The days when most of the people travelling on a Sunday were going to church have long gone. The shopping malls are heaving with customers; sports events are busy; car boot sales attract great swarms of people; and those who stay at home are busy on the Internet or on social media.
But amidst this constant activity we need to take time to stop, reflect and worship. When I was a child my parents had very strict rules about the use of Sundays. We were not to play with balls, watch television, do homework or go to shops or cinemas. I suspect that most people would question those rules (and I certainly do!) but I thank God that, from my earliest days, Sunday was something special. It couldn’t be confused with the other days of the week. It stood apart and was a day for us to focus our attention on God.
The life of the people of Israel trudging through the desert could hardly be more different from our lives today, but I believe that the principle of the sabbath still holds good and that we should work hard at keeping Sunday special.
In what ways do you seek to keep your Sundays special?
Lord God, we thank you for the gift of the sabbath. Help us to use our Sundays wisely so that we can become stronger in serving you. Amen