Recently, before I went to sleep one night I looked at the book of Exodus. Specifically, the story about how Moses led the Israelites out of the land of Egypt and the migration into the promised land. Along the way, they made a pit stop at Mount Sinai, where God gave the people the Ten Commandments, one being, ““Remember the Sabbath day, and keep it holy.” (Exodus 20:8, NRSV). I pondered this verse for quite some time. As I thought more about the deeper meaning of it, I began drawing thoughts about it back to the beginning of this world. When God created the heavens and the earth, six days were used to make it all happen. Then on the seventh day, he rested and made the day holy because of all the work he had done the first six days of the earth.
In modern times, we as Christians use the Sabbath (Sunday) to worship the one that gave us the pathway to sanctification so that we may love God with all of our hearts. Each Sunday, we take time to remember the risen savior; who through his sacrifice on the cross and resurrection, salvation can be obtained through Christ Jesus. People worship in many ways; certain beliefs may be different, but all serve one common purpose: giving God the glory. As for me, being brought up within the church by the Wesleyan tradition particularly the United Methodist Church, I consider being part of a loving christian community as an essential part of the pathway to an eternity of walking with Jesus. With a supportive church community, making a difference in the world can become a reality, as well as contribute to evangelizing to those in need of hearing the good news of Christ. John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist church puts this in simple terms saying, “The readiest way which God takes to draw a man to himself is, to afflict him in that he loves most, and with good reason; and to cause this affliction to arise from some good action done with a single eye; because nothing can more clearly show him the emptiness of what is most lovely and desirable in all the world.”
Okay, so how do we express to others that we can tell the world that we are initiated into following the will of Christ? For this, we remember that through baptism we are incorporated into God’s mighty acts and given new birth by the water and spirit. Furthermore, through baptism we reject the power of sin and ready ourselves to begin the journey as a follower of Christ. Communion is a way we can continue to be reminded of how thankful we are of God’s presence among us. We have an “open table” in the United Methodist Church meaning that anyone can come and partake in the sacrament of holy communion, which works because we believe that God’s presence is felt when we partake in communion. In the Lord’s Supper, God feeds us, sustains us, and empowers us to live as Christians in the world. That is why I worship and give God all the glory, because he made the way through his son so that I would experience salvation. As John Wesley sums it up, “May we all thus experience what it is to be not almost only, but altogether Christians! Being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Jesus, knowing we have peace with God through Jesus Christ, rejoicing in hope of the glory of God, and having the love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the holy Ghost given unto us!” Amen!