Nick's Notes

It’s that time of year where we seem to be merging onto the Autobahn; everything is moving very fast and everyone is making sure they can keep up with the pace. Prom season is in full swing, graduations are fast approaching, college students are returning home for their summer break and our lives are becoming full with summer plans and activities. Life is getting busy and for some it’s very stressful. You might wonder how you will get everything done, make sure everyone is taken care of and how you’re going to make it through the summer season. Have you thought about how you’re going to take care of yourself? Philippians 4:13 tells us “I can do all things through him who strengthens me”. Many people use this verse as a motivation to keep going and giving their all for others. I’ve caught myself using it as a prayer at times saying “God, I need your strength to keep going. I can make it through with your strength”. We’re missing the point of this verse. We’re forgetting about our Sabbath.

It’s true that Christ empowers us to do everything if we ask for his strength. However that doesn’t give us reason to run ourselves ragged to get everything done. We have to remember to take our Sabbath. That is why God gave us the 10 commandments in Exodus; to follow the commands that God gives us so that we can glorify them.

Sabbath was instituted for us as a day of rest and it is more than just a day off. In Luther’s Small Catechism, Martin Luther wrote out answers and explanations to questions we may have. Pay close attention to questions 35 and 39 found in the back about the Third Commandment. Question 35 asks “What is the Sabbath day?” Luther’s response is “In the Old Testament God set aside the seventh day (Saturday) as a required day of rest and worship”. God is telling you directly that you need to rest. Question 39 follows question 38 explaining how we sin against the third commandment. Pay close attention to answer C; “when we use the Word of God and the Sacraments negligently or carelessly”. Do you find yourself using the motivation of Philippians 4:13 to keep moving forward while neglecting your Sabbath? You are breaking the Third Commandment if you do.

Sabbath is such a gift to us and it’s more than just a “day off”. Everyone needs to observe and respect their Sabbath every week but even more so when life gets busy. By neglecting your Sabbath you are doing yourself a disservice and you are sinning against God. Don’t fill your Sabbath with tasks like housework or grocery shopping and don’t waste your Sabbath by having a Netflix binge. Use your Sabbath as an opportunity to rest physically and spiritually by doing something you enjoy and by spending time in prayer and worship of our Lord.

With Christian Love,

Nick Rittgers