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Sabbath Refreshment

Children's sermon
Christmas wrapped box with label “sabbath”
The sabbath was made for humankind, not humankind for the sabbath (v. 27)

Good morning girls and boys,

How are you this beautiful morning? (children answer) Excited? Full of energy? Tired?

When people and animals got very tired in the Old Testament, God gave a present to everyone. God gave a gift called the “sabbath” so people and animals could rest.

Enjoying the sabbath is like playing a sport, like soccer, very hard and then having a “time out.” Or when you are at school and studying very hard, you get a “recess.” Sabbath is like that too. So for six days people and animals work, and then get “time out” or “recess” on the seventh.

I have a couple of silly questions to ask you.

Have you ever eaten peas with a pencil? (explain misusing a pencil)

Would you buy a new computer for a door stop? (explain misusing a computer)

Silly questions indeed. Now look here. I have a present wrapped like a Christmas gift with a note telling what is inside. Inside is “the sabbath.” It's for us to open and use. Now would you use this beautifully unwrapped box with the gift “sabbath” inside, as a footstool or a club to beat someone up?  Probably not!

In Jesus' day, some Pharisees criticized Jesus and his disciples for misusing the sabbath as they understood the sabbath. The disciple plucked some grain to eat on the sabbath. Then Jesus healed a man on the sabbath. The Pharisees, opponents of Jesus, saw plucking grain and healing a crippled man as breaking the sabbath. It would be like using this brightly decorated Christmas present with the gift of sabbath inside, as a foot stool, or some other inappropriate way.

Jesus graciously corrected the Pharisees and said, “The sabbath was made for humankind, not humankind for the sabbath.” So let's unwrap this package and use this wonderful gift for what it is intended, not for what it is not intended.

Today we understand that this wonderful gift of the sabbath, which is our Sunday, is for our rest, relaxation, worship, healing, and helping others.

Prayer: Lord of the sabbath, teach us to rightly use the sabbath as you intended. Amen.
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