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Dear Congregational Family,

Time is precious!  Time is short!  We often lived hurried and pressured lives as we try to squeeze in the most possible of life, in the least possible of time.  This world is relentless with its pressures as well as with its offerings of priorities.  So, how does one decide what to do with the TIME God has given them??

I want to focus in on Sundays in particular.   In the course of time in our nation, “Sunday” has gone from being called, “The Lord’s Day” to “Sunday” to “the weekend.”  There was something about the title “The Lord’s Day” which reminded people “how & why” to prioritize that day.  The “weekend” certainly seems to make it just another day for us to use for our own pursuits. 

Recently I have been doing an in depth study on the book of Nehemiah.  I was amazed to discover that Nehemiah gives “neglect of the Sabbath” as one of the main reasons that the nation of Israel (kingdom of Judah) was conquered, its capital city Jerusalem destroyed, the Temple destroyed, and the people sent into exile!!!  There was a whole host of other things that he could have mentioned — immorality, idolatry, neglect of the poor, injustice, abuse of power, greed, murders, crime, …. You name it!

It would seem that something “so insignificant” for busy people as ignoring worshipping God on the Sabbath, certainly would not have been enough to bring down an entire nation that was once the empire of king David & Solomon.  I guess God did take the Ten Commandments seriously after all!

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.  Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, …. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth …. and rested on the seventh day; therefore, the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”  (Exodus 20:8-11)

Martin Luther in the Catechism answers the question of “what does this mean?” by writing:
“We should fear and love God, so that we do not despise His Word and the preaching of the same, but regard it as holy and gladly hear and learn it.”

I know that Easter Sunday is past, but every Sunday is a day to celebrate the resurrection of Christ and to keep the day holy by coming together and hearing the Word of God and worshiping our Lord Jesus!

I challenge you to give renewed priority of time in your life, to spend worshiping the Lord!
See you in church this Sunday!
 Pastor Steven P. Carlson

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