A Sabbath Day’s Journey

Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day’s journey. Acts 1:12 KJV

I love the tradition of keeping a Sabbath, and having worked in an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood, I learned from my friends that one way they keep it is by living close enough so that on the Sabbath, they could walk to synagogue. Seeing them marching with their children down to temple seemed as timely and beautiful as lilacs in bloom or robins returning in the Spring. Their community was bound together by the time-honored tradition of “A Sabbath Day’s Journey.” While the exact length of the journey is in dispute, most believe this to have been the prescribed distance between the people and the tabernacle in the wilderness. It also comes from the Old Testament book of Exodus, where God tells His people, that they could gather the manna only on the first six days of the week, but on the Sabbath,” Remain each of you in his place; let no one go out of his place on the seventh day.”

But what about today? What does a “Sabbath Day’s Journey” mean for us? Here are three thoughts about that journey. First, a Sabbath journey is for going to worship God. This journey is something God calls us to every week as we gather with other believers. He knows how easy it is for our heart to wander and corporate worship helps puts our focus back on Jesus. Don’t allow guilt or worry about what others think or say to keep you from going to God’s house. Meeting together is our Sabbath day’s journey to Him. Second, the Sabbath Day’s Journey gives us an opportunity to help a neighbor. Jesus pointed out that even the Pharisees stopped to pull an animal out of a pit or bring them water on the Sabbath. All week we run as fast as we can and work as much as we can to meet our own needs. A Sabbath day journey is an opportunity that God gives us to meet the needs of others. If someone is sick, why not visit or at least try making a phone call? Is there someone you know who is lonely? Why not invite them over for a meal? God doesn’t get into specifics about how we love our neighbors. He just tells us to do it and then leaves the details up to us.

Last, a Sabbath day’s journey is the one that Jesus made regularly to heal. I used to think that He did this just to irritate the Pharisees, but then I realized that He chose the holiest day of the week because people matter more to Him than anything else. A Sabbath day’s journey was the journey Jesus made from Heaven to earth for you and me. He was resting nicely in Heaven. He didn’t need to leave His home, but He did. He chose His Sabbath day’s journey to come, and His journey ended when He said, “It is finished!” So, on this next Sabbath day let’s take a journey to meet for worship, let’s find someone we can serve and most of all let’s be thankful that Jesus took a Sabbath day’s journey from Heaven just to come and walk with us!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Verses for Easter – Week 2

He Couldn’t Stay on the Cross

After the crown of thorns
And they ripped the robe off His back 
And after the hammer and nails
When the lightening came down with a crack

While the life blood of Jesus poured out 
From the wound where they pierced His side
The crowd stood around looking up at His face 
 Then Mary bowed in her grief as she cried

And by the law He couldn't stay after sunset
He must be buried by the end of the day
So - Joseph of Arimathea
Begged Pilate to take Him away

He couldn’t stay on the cross after nightfall
He must be laid in the dark of the tomb
Till He rose with the breath of the Spirit
When the angel would roll back the stone!

And Joseph bought a linen shroud and taking him down, wrapped him in the linen shroud and laid him in a tomb that had been cut out of the rock. And he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb.  
Mark 15:42-46 ESV

He Couldn't Stay on the Cross by Peter Caligiuri 
copyright 2020 all rights reserved

Call 9-1-1!

My enemies trample on me all day long, for many attack me proudly. When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me? 
Psalm 56:3-4 ESV

We had just started dinner, when we were interrupted by the all too familiar sound of a crash. “Call 9-1-1!” I shouted as I headed for the front door to get a better look. Because we lived on one of the main avenues near the center of our city, car accidents in front of our house happened regularly. We called so often that we knew the drill. “This is 911. Where is your emergency?” the operator would ask. In the Bible, Psalm 56 is God’s 9-1-1 number. Though I have often heard that one of the most repeated commands in the Bible is, “Do not be afraid.” I must confess that I am often still afraid. What I need is more than just a command to stop. I need to learn how, and today’s verse encourages me because it tells me I am not alone. David: the giant killer, who also killed a lion with his bare hands and who wrote most of the Psalms, was just like me. I love how he doesn’t mince words. He says straight up that, he is afraid – but – in his fearful moments he dials Heaven’s 9-1-1 number and begins to tell God about it! He says, “Help me, Lord! I am having a crisis here!” and we can do the same. When we dialed 9-1-1 in emergencies back home, we didn’t know who would pick up the phone, we would never get to meet that person or even know their name. But when we dial Heaven’s 9-1-1 number, we know who is picking up on the other end and we can trust that He won’t hang up. God will answer the call. He will listen to our emergency and He will come. Where is your emergency today? It’s time to pick up the phone and dial 9-1-1!