Old Testament Lesson
We see in this text some of the festivals that the people had, and they were to keep these days, no exceptions. In seminary, I took a class on modern Judaism, and someone asked the professor Rabbi Micah Greenstein of Temple Israel in Memphis, what was the holiest of all the Jewish holidays. He said the Sabbath. He said it was given each week and it was the holiest, even as holy as Passover or the Day of Atonement.
Do we as Christians think of our Sabbath (Sunday) as holy? Do we really? Or, is it a day to sleep late? A day to watch football? Hunt? Cut the grass? I know that many of us have to work on Sunday, that is a reality of modern life. Nurses can't take off. etc. But, if we are not required to be a work, what are we doing? And even if we are at work, do we think about the fact that this is the day that our Lord has given us to worship? There are sometimes reasons why we can't go to Church. I understand that. But, we should never, never, never think that Sunday is a day that was created for out thoughts and pleasures alone. It is a day of rest, but it is also a day of reflection and worship of God.
We cannot take God's Word seriously unless we take the command of keeping Sabbath seriously. Where will you be this Sunday? What will you be doing this Sunday? We are to remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.
New Testament Lesson
2 Thessalonians 2:1-17
We see in this passage that there are those that oppose God and oppose His plans. Sometimes we like to speculate on who the man of lawlessness could be. While that may be fun, a greater question is how are we like the man of lawlessness? How do we oppose the plan of God? How do we oppose the work of God? How do we not do what God wants us to do.
We can't always solve all the mysteries of life, but we can look within our own soul and see how we may be unfaithful. We can looking within our own lives and see the places that we have not handed over to God. We can look within and see the places where we will not submit to God's law. Before we worry about all the mysteries that we can't fully understand, let's first make sure that our heart,t that live is submitted to God.
There is a difference between judging and looking at fruit. I can't look inside and see some one's heart. Only God can do that. But, I can look and see if that person is producing any fruit. The children of God are called to produce the fruit of the Spirit. Today, what fruit are you producing. Before we look at other's fruit, let's look at our own.
It is so easy to judge others. But, when we make a mistake, we want grace. We want others to receive judgement for their mistakes, but we want grace and mercy for ours. We must hold one another accountable and we must examine one other's fruit. But, we must also extent grace and forgiveness, for we each want grace and forgiveness extended to us. Let us take the planks out of our own eyes and let us help one another take the planks out of each others.