Yesterday was a Sunday for the books. I love Sundays for a myriad of reasons. Longer devotional time, corporate worship, sharing the Lord’s Supper with other believers, and oh how the list continues.
Sabbath days are for the Lord, but they are also for us. It’s His reminder that He is always FOR US. He encourages his people to worship, to rest, and to live in Him. He knew what he was doing when he set up our weeks with a Sunday Sabbath. He knew we would need downtime, alone time, not going-1,000-miles-per-hour time. His command to the Israelites was simple- do no work on this day. I will provide for you, and this day will be a day for resting.
There is great joy for the Redeemed of The Lord who celebrate the Lord’s Sabbath still. Yesterday held particular meaning for me.
I have a sweet neighbor down the street, (we shall call her Gray) who has been a widow now for 24 years. She hobbles down my street each day, right as I’m coming home from work, always with a kind hello and a smile. She is quick to talk about Jesus, weaving him into our conversations as if he were there chatting with us. I wish I had her talent.
Gray has been on me for weeks now to come visit her church. And I’ve protested because I love my church, and I think it important to be present with your local body of believers as much as you can.
She finally got me on Friday. Gray stopped me in the driveway saying, “now I know you’re too busy for an old lady like me, but we Baptist and you church of Christ’s- we’re not so very different. We can worship with one another. You must come with me sometime to church.”
And maybe because I’m not used to so much persistence, I agreed.
So Sunday morning finds me walking down the street to her home, in slacks (I wear jeans to church!) and sliding into an old Cadillac with Mrs. Gray. I wasn’t sure we’d make it to church without getting a ticket from the police or from colliding with another vehicle, but somehow I was spared from Gray’s maniac driving and we made it.
And so I sit with Gray in her senior’s class, and they’re talking Deuteronomy, and Romans, and Gospel of John and how the Old Testament was anticipating a Savior, and how Jesus fulfilled all the prophecies in the Old Testament. A few things that sound almost exactly what we’ve taught in our young adult study group…. And afterwards we’re walking to the worship hall, and we sing to God, listen to a sermon, shake lots of hands, and head out of there.
But what Sunday would be complete without lunch?
So we’re sitting together in Perkins eating scrambled eggs and drinking decaf, and chatting. She’s telling me about her late husband, her grandchildren, and our next door neighbors who don’t yet know the Lord. She mentions that they aren’t married, and she loves their daughter, and we’ve got to do our best to find opportunities to teach them about Jesus.
We fight over the bill and I win. Her retribution was not letting me drive home, and when we finally make it back, I’m tempted to kiss the ground and thank the Lord that he spared me from death twice in one day.
Yes, Sabbaths are days that God meant for us.
Gray and I are from different worlds. She an older widow who lost her husband, her many friends and family, and she is hanging in there. she’s just keeping up her courage and looking for ministry opportunities down my street. She drives an old Cadillac, and wears skirts to church on Sundays.
My mom sends me an Oswald Chambers quote today,
“The things Jesus did were the most menial of everyday tasks, and this is an indication that it takes all of God’s power in me to accomplish even the most common tasks in His way. Can I use a towel as He did? Towels, dishes, sandals, and all the other ordinary things in our lives reveal what we are made of more quickly than anything else. It takes God Almighty Incarnate in us to do the most menial duty as it ought to be done.
Jesus said, “I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you” (John 13:15). Notice the kind of people that God brings around you, and you will be humiliated once you realize that this is actually His way of revealing to you the kind of person you have been to Him. Now He says we should exhibit to those around us exactly what He has exhibited to us.”
I reflect on my Sunday with Gray. She’s living an ordinary life, and it takes all of God’s strength to see her safely through each day. She could easily fall down, and no one would know. She can’t go many places alone, and it’s a real treat for her when a neighbor slows down and takes time to visit.
I realize we’re not very different at all.
I’m living an ordinary life, and it takes all of God’s strength to see me safely through each day. I easily fall down, and in my pride, I try to deny and minimize that I ever really fell down in the first place. I can’t go many places alone, and it’s a real treat when my neighbor persists in asking me to go to church.
Perhaps we are from different eras, but we are from the same dust.
We have the same needs, we share a common love for a Savior. We’re both living the best we know how for Jesus.
She said something yesterday, and I hope to remember this, and implement this in my life:
“It’s not so much about the right religion, Shelby, it’s about that right relationship with Jesus. If you know Jesus, he’ll equip you for everything else.”
**Excerpt taken from My Utmost for His Highest Daily Devotional, Oswald Chambers. https://utmost.org/