Major texts: Gen 2:1-3; Heb 4:3,4; Deut 5:12-15; Ezek 20:12; Mark 2:27,28; 2 Pet 3:3-7
One can hardly complete a reading of the creation account in Genesis without noticing the last act of the drama, namely the establishment of the Sabbath as a memorial within time. There are several things to notice about this:
- Notice that the Sabbath shows up as the capstone of creation. It completes the creation event. It is established in order to rest man from his/her labors, and also to commemorate the creation event and the God who initiated life. Ontologically, it stands as a reminder of the Creator/creation dynamic that is so much a part of the creation story.
- It Is being more widely acknowledged now in the Christian community that the 7th day was the original day of Sabbath. That comports with Saturday in our calendar. Sunday is now revered because of the Christian Interest in commemorating the resurrection. What should be said about this?
- Consider the genius of God who made a memorial out of time rather than out of some material substance like rock or gold. Think of how enduring a memorial in time would be, and how difficult to eliminate.
- What kind of difference would you see between “keeping” Sabbath, and “celebrating” Sabbath? Would consideration of these differences make any difference in the way you observe Sabbath?
- What do you think of Sabbath as a day of rest? What does that mean? How broadly could you interpret and apply this injunction? Would you include nature itself in this mandate to rest?
- Some discussion could be had on Sabbath as a sign between God and those who believe in him. What do you think of the signatory nature of Sabbath?
- Think about the many incidents in the Gospels telling of Jesus and the Sabbath. How did He envision Sabbath? How did He use the Sabbath hours? How similar are your activities to his? How do the activities of Jesus change what you might think is “permissible” to do on Sabbath?
- How do you understand the statement that “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath?”
- Look at Psalm 92, a Psalm for the Sabbath. What do you learn from this?
- How do you think human life would be different/better if everyone acknowledge and kept the Sabbath as a day of rest and worship?
- Do you think It is necessary to go to some kind of worship event on the Sabbath in order to properly revere it?