From the Word: 22 And the crowd banded together against them, and the magistrates tore their garments off them, and ordered them be beaten with rods. 23 And when they had subjected them to many blows, they threw them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them securely. 24 Having received such a command, he put them in the inner prison, and fastened their feet in the stocks. (Acts 16:22–24)
From the Confessions: The Large Catechism, The Ten Commandments
The Third Commandment
Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.
Secondly, and most especially, take the time and the freedom to attend divine service on such days of rest (since we can get no other opportunity), coming together to hear and discuss God’s Word, and then to praise God in song and prayer.
Pulling It Together: On their way to worship, Paul and Silas were hounded by a slave fortune-teller, whom they healed of demonic possession, essentially cutting of a flow of money to her owners. For this, they had Paul and Silas beaten and imprisoned. This was madness: order and kindness roughly cast aside for gain. Yet, is this not the way of things? And do we not do this very thing ourselves?
Paul and Silas, as well as other Christians in the New Testament, continually went to worship in spite of the harsh treatment they might receive, just as their Lord did (Luke 4:28-29). In our own times, we hear of devout believers who forfeit employment because they refuse to work on the Lord’s Day. What keeps us from the Table, the pulpit, and Christian fellowship—from following Christ Jesus? Do we love something more than God, more than keeping his commandment?
“He who loves his life loses it; and he who hates his life in this world will safeguard it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, let him follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him” (John 12:25–26).
Prayer: Help me follow you, Lord, despite the appeals of the world. Amen.
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