Garry spoke this morning on the Hebrew words connected with ‘Sabbath’ as we continued to think about the purpose of this God-given rest. Sabbath is a time to change our focus, to recalibrate, to get perspective, to spend time with the One we love (as a bride and groom enjoy being together) and to collectively join together to praise our God. This morning, we looked at how God wants us to be ‘knit together’ (see Is 56:4-8, where God says, ‘The Sovereign Lord declares – he who gathers the exiles of Israel: “I will gather still others to them besides those already gathered.“‘) We are a gathered people, a people called out by God (the Greek word ‘ekklesia’, commonly translated ‘church’), gathered by Him with purpose (not like a random gathering of people who gather at an assembly point after a fire alarm goes off.)
The church is a duly summoned assembly, having a common purpose, called by God for a specific purpose. Paul used the analogy of the church as a body in 1 Cor 12:12-14, and the same Hebrew word is used in Ps 139:13 when we read that ‘You knit me together in my mother’s womb.’ The human body is fascinating and intricately formed; even nowadays, so much about the body is not fully understood, such as how blood vessels know where to go or how different joints are formed in different parts of the body (the ball and socket joint in the shoulder being different to the hinge joint in the elbow, for example.) Just a consideration of the human body (and the many discoveries made since 1953 when DNA was first discovered) remind us that we truly are fearfully and wonderfully made (Ps 139:14), but this is as nothing compared to the wonder of the body of Christ!
The body of Christ is made of separate parts which are knit together to form a whole. Unlike in baking where separate ingredients merge to form a new compound, the individual parts (people) still retain their own identity; we are called by name. (John 10:3) We are knitted together by One who is skilled, and though we spend much time apart on our frontlines where God has called us to be witnesses and influences (salt and light), the Sabbath is an opportunity to gather and assemble together.