I praise God for the Sabbath! Here is a day on which it’s OK to ignore some of life’s harsher realities. It’s OK to simply rest, or otherwise find some respite for the soul. God has designed it for us that way. More, it’s a forum for communion with our loving Creator. Especially at this time of year, there is such a great out-burst of life and beauty in the natural world. I saw some crocuses sprinkled around in my wife’s garden a day or two ago, and when I stepped down to examine them more closely, their beauty smote my heart! Looking into those delicate, immaculate blooms actually had the effect of (temporarily) wiping my mental hard drive. Nothing else mattered in the light of that beauty. The experience was almost heavenly.
And then, with my hearing aids working their magic each morning, the birdsong outdoors is nearly stunning as I walk from my house up to the classroom. God is so wonderful! Truly, “men of the world, whose portion is in this life” are without excuse for failing to recognize, acknowledge, and worship their Creator.
This is all part of the “firm foundation of God,” which Paul describes to Timothy: “Howbeit, the firm foundation of God standeth” 2 Timothy 2:18. (I don’t think Paul was thinking of the natural creation when he wrote that, but I don’t think it’s putting too great a strain on Scripture to read it this way.) The Sabbath is part of the foundation, too. Its institution at Eden was integrated into the plan of the seven-day week from the very beginning. It’s foundational. Its observance has been maintained—by someone, or some people—ever since. It’s part of the “nature of things” with mankind. Or ought to be.
Alas for those who have been denied it over the centuries. And this is why we rejoice in the Restoration. Some of those foundational things have been dimmed or even lost in various quarters of the globe. Their observance is missing, and people are suffering in consequence. But in these last (we hope) days, there’s a ministry that has begun, like Spring, to re-open the bulbs and buds, and like the flowers the Sabbath has emerged in its glory to take its place once again as a regular respite, a foundational platform around which the week revolves. This is as it should be: the Sabbath was “made for man,” and we were designed to delight in it.
So why not get outside on this day and smell the flowers—the crocuses, or the little blue flowers under the forsythia bushes, called around here by the utterly splendid name, “Glories of the Snow,” or “Snow Glories”! And Glory be to God who made them!
With things like this around us, it’s not hard to delight in the one Day He has given us to enjoy them without distraction. And, fellow believers, “These are but the outskirts of His ways….” One day all nations will be bound together in the worship we’re sampling right now.
Praise be to God!