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

God’s Unique Sabbath – Day Six : Lord of the Sabbath

So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.” Mark 2:28

This interesting story about Jesus and the disciples walking through the corn or wheat fields is recorded in three of the four gospels. Though we may have never once heard a message preached from these verses, Matthew, Mark and Luke each considered it so important that they included it among the highlights of Jesus’ teaching.

My personal belief is that our own ignorance of the Sabbath and the treasure that God intended it to be is one of the great losses of the present day church. God’s Sabbath came not only before the law, Sabbath came even before sin. Sabbath was built into the matrix of the universe. To put it into literary terms God’s Holy Sabbath was His denouement : “the final part of a play, movie, or narrative in which the strands of the plot are drawn together and matters are explained or resolved.” Without understanding Sabbath in fact we will never be able to fully understand God’s story.

When the Pharisees started cluck-clucking about the disciples rubbing some grain in their hands on the seventh day, Jesus  had finally had enough of their cold analytical hypocrisy and proceeded to give them a Sabbath lesson. In that lesson, Jesus made it clear that the very central purpose of the Sabbath was for it to be a day of healing and blessing to man. God had not created man so the Sabbath could be observed, but He had created Sabbath to be a day of healing and blessing for man.

I fear we, the modern-day church, have gone far beyond just losing the gift of Sabbath; I believe we are losing even the last vestiges of memories of what it is. Sabbath is a precious gift and unless we battle to take back God’s Sabbath blessing

August 28 2008 102then we may one day run down like an unwound watch.

We once visited for several days a small village in Switzerland, On the Sunday morning of our stay, I left our hosts’ home and went for a long walk up through some of the most beautiful hill country I  have ever seen. On my walk I found a wonderful ancient church and as I watched a man drove up, unlocked the door and went in to ring the bells. How lovely they sounded as they peeled over the valley. It was an almost perfect picture. But then as he finished his duties, he left the church, locked the doors and drove away.

That image still lingers in my memory. Is that what we have become? Do we just go about our duties, ring the bells and go home? Do we ring the bells and no one any longer hears? Do we remember vaguely that it is God’s day but barely pause long enough to catch our spiritual breath? There will be a price to forgetting God’s Sabbath because it remains a blessed part of the creation from before there was sin. The Sabbath is built into not only the universe, but also into who we are as men and women. Sabbath rest, worship and prayer are the breath, the life and the foundation and basis from which we go out to do all the work which God has called us to do.

If we will choose to remember then God has a promise that we will look into on the seventh and final day. Stay tuned!