by Rev. Jeff Hemmer
Gift giving is such an intrinsic part of the Creator's nature that even in His Law He intends to give gifts, gifts that can only be received in the keeping of His commandments. This article is a continuation from previous newsletters.
The Third Commandment - Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
What gift does God intend to give through the Third Commandment? His Word
That might seem like a burden, like the guilt trip your pastor lays on you for skipping Bible class. (Seriously, though, you're already coming to church on Sunday morning; why not just stay for Bible Class?) But it's more than that. The Word of God is how you receive faith: "So faith comes through hearing, & hearing through the word of Christ" (Rom. 10:17). It's how you have life: "My soul clings to the dust; give me life according to your word!" (Ps. 119:25).
God doesn't want you to attend Sunday morning services so that you fulfill some kind of obligation or return after six days off to tell Him how awesome He is. He created Sunday mornings & the Divine Service for the purpose of delivering His gifts: His Word & His Sacraments. If you say "no" to these, you say "no" to life. God intends for you something better than that. Breaking the Third Commandment means missing out on life-bestowing, eternity-altering gifts. That's just dumb. The gifts are free & frequent. All you have to do is be where they're given out.
From A-Z Stewardship Resources Collection (LCMS) -- to be continued next month with more gifts from the commandments.