The Sabbath is Unique

For those of you who are regular readers, you know that I am a fan of “The Chosen” series. In the first season I especially loved the episode on the Sabbath and was deeply moved by the final scene of all the different families in different settings taking time to honor God. This week I will be sharing a series on the Sabbath which I wrote a few years ago but I believe with all my heart is needed now more than ever. As a young man, I belonged to a church that taught us some pretty legalistic forms of Sabbath keeping which sadly obscured the deeper truths and blessings for which God created the seventh day. The reality is that Christ is our Sabbath, and our only rest is in Him. But that being said, there does remain a uniqueness to keeping Sabbath which I hope we never lose. I will be delighted to hear not only your reactions, but how you keep Sabbath and the blessings you have found. So here is day one –

For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. Exodus 20:11

This Sunday as I was resting, I began to thank God for having planned for us such a special day. The world is push-push- push 24/7 and 365. No day, no hour, no minute is any different from any other. One day when I was a teen-ager I was driving home from work. I was tired and, in a hurry, so when I found myself behind a long line of slow-moving traffic, I was particularly irritated. I couldn’t remember a construction zone in that area and the speed limit was 60-70 miles per hour so immediately I began to pass as many cars at a time as I could. I thought I was making pretty good time till I pulled out and noticed that the first car in line was a hearse! Oh, how ashamed I felt! The world is a lot like I was that afternoon. There is no time to slow down until we are being driven away to be buried!

But rest is coded into the very DNA of God’s creation. The Sabbath was unique because on that day when He was no longer busy with creation, God set aside an entire day just to spend time with Adam and Eve. God wasn’t worn out or tired from His work but instead He rested by choice. Today is the first in an eight-part series on why God has made the Sabbath unique. I am sometimes afraid that in our modern world we have forgotten how to rest. In our worry and hurry, our pushing and shoving it is so easy to forget the value of Sabbath rest. God’s day is not meant simply as a ritual observance or a duty to be carried out with gritted teeth. God’s Sabbath is His gift for us. Together let’s slow down and allow the wheels of life to cease turning just long enough for us to unwrap His gift and look into God’s humble and unhurried heart.

Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, 
not man for the Sabbath. Mark 2:27

One Loaf of Bread

Even if God showers us
 With ten thousand days times three
We cannot save a single one 
For ourselves keep

Like manna in the wilderness 
He gives one loaf each day
And asks us with our neighbor to
 Share it along the way

But when we hoard it is a sin 
An unbelieving seed 
And traveling with that visitor 
Are worry, stress and greed

Till soon that good, sweet manna
Turns to be as dry as sand
Until we joyfully accept
What God puts into our hands

Then by His daily miracle
He teaches us to trust
That even just one loaf of bread
In God’s own hand is much!

Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, 
‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat'
John 6:31 ESV

One Loaf of Bread by Peter Caligiuri copyright 2022 all rights reserved

Photo by Bruno Thethe on

He is Near

…The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:5‭b-‬6 ESV

Just a brief encouragement today for those who like me are seeking God’s direction yet feeling as if we are at a dead end. Thankfully Jesus specialized in showing up for his disciples at times just like that! In storms, in locked rooms or at gravesides Jesus came near. And when He came, he always began with same message. “It is I. Don’t be afraid! In today’s passage Paul begins by reminding us that our reason for confidence and peace in our prayers begins with one fact. Jesus is at hand. He is so close that we can reach out and touch Him just as Thomas did. So as we go about our journey we can put anxiety to rest with three simple truths. He is near, He is listening and He promises to answer. May God bless us this weekend as we rest secure in knowing that He is within our hand’s reach, He listens to our prayers and calms every fear with His message. “Do not be afraid!”