March 31, 2017

Dear FUMC Family,

I hope you’re having a good week.  As the weekend approaches, I want to invite and encourage you to join us here for worship. We’re finishing our series on Sabbath this week, looking at Deuteronomy 5:12-15.  If you have a minute, check these verses out before Sunday!  And plan now to join us at 8:30 or 11:00 as we worship together.

In Deuteronomy, God not only commands the people of Israel to keep Sabbath, he tells them why: “Remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm; therefore the Lord your God commanded you to keep the sabbath day.”  In other words, keep Sabbath because you have been set free.

In his letter to the Galatians, Paul writes beautifully about the freedom we have received in Christ.  He begins chapter 5 by saying, “For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”  And then later, “For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another.”

Years ago I saw a church sign around the Fourth of July that asked, “What are you using your freedom for?”  What’s our freedom really for?  Paul suggests it is for the sake of others.  At its heart, that’s what Sabbath is about, too.  In Deuteronomy, God’s command to keep Sabbath extends to everybody — it’s a call and invitation for God’s people to offer the gift of rest, delight and joy to everyone around them.

I’d invite you to take note of those around you today: classmates and coworkers, family members, those who serve you in some way.  And pray for them: for their lives, for the burdens they might be carrying, for their joys and their sorrows.  And ask God to show them the delight and joy of God’s grace in you.

Join us this weekend for worship.  It’s going to be a great weekend together – lots of great music, and Holy Communion at both services.  I hope to see you then!

In Christ,