The Ringing of the Bell

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

This story about Jesus and the disciples walking through the fields is recorded in three of the four gospels and though you may have never heard a message preached from these verses, Matthew, Mark and Luke each considered it among the highlights of Jesus’ teaching. Our ignorance of the treasure that God intended Sabbath to be is one of the great losses of the church today. God’s Sabbath came not only before the law, but also before sin. Sabbath was built into the matrix of our world.  God’s Sabbath was His denouement: – the final act of HIs play, by which the strands of His plot were drawn together, and everything was resolved. Without understanding Sabbath, we cannot fully understand God’s story. When the Pharisees criticized the disciples’ behavior on the seventh day, Jesus made it clear that the purpose of the Sabbath was for it to be a day of blessing for man. God had not created man so the Sabbath could be observed, but He had created Sabbath as a day for man.

We once visited a village in Switzerland and on my Sunday morning walk, I passed by found a beautiful stone church.  As I paused to rest, a man drove up, unlocked the door and went in to ring the bells. How lovely they sounded as they pealed over the valley. After he had finished his duties, he locked the doors and drove away. Is that what we have become? Do we just go about our day, ring the bells but no one comes? Do we remember vaguely that it is God’s Day, but barely pause long enough to catch our breath? Till the end of time Sabbath will remain a blessing and is built into who we are as men and women. Sabbath rest, worship and prayer are the breath, life and foundation from which we go out to do everything else, and when we keep God’s Sabbath, we keep its blessing for us, our families and everyone who hears the ringing of the bell!

Photo by Luke Webb on Pexels.com

Ringing Heaven’s Bell

Thank you for all the kind comments yesterday on my fire fly memories. That title and the story was still stirring my heart through the evening so I slept on it and started working on a bit of a verse this morning. I hope it may be a blessing to you both by a glimpse of childhood memories as well as a few aches and pains of aging. May you each have a blessed weekend and time of worship with brothers and sisters in your church.

And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch. John 10:23
Catching fireflies in little jars was such fun
Summer evenings we played on in the night
And watched them in wonder as they flashed on and off
And Time froze as we laughed at their sight
Till out on the porch Granny rang the ship’s bell
Telling us it was time to come in
And we traipsed to the door and got ready for bed 
Still holding our jars in our hands

And I try to remember those long-ago days
And the joy of the flashing so bright
When the absence of friends who have long disappeared
Casts shadows creeping over that light

But off in the distance comes the sound of the bell
Of God’s promise of a river of life
And the leaves of the trees that grow there on its banks
Are for healing from sorrow and strife
And I see Jesus standing out on Heaven’s porch
His voice rings as He calls me to come
To leave to the past all those things that won’t last
And to joyfully start my way home!


Ringing Heaven's Bell by Peter Caligiuri 
copyright 2021 all rights reserved