Covenant Sign

This is a tool for you to use if you lead a Sabbath School (SS) class or small group. It is keyed to the Bible texts used in the current week’s Adult SS lesson and includes a brief story from current news you can use to introduce the discussion and then a series of discussion questions in a relational pattern designed to build fellowship and spiritual reflection.

 

For use: May 23-29, 2021

Texts: Genesis 2:2, 3; Exodus 20:11; Exodus 16; Hebrews 4:1-4; Exodus 31:12-17; Deuteronomy 5:14

 

Story and branding are important aspects of any successful business. How did a certain business or blog begin? What is the story behind it? We are much more likely to buy-in, to follow, if we can identify or understand the origins. Whether it is socks, plant-based proteins, tech items, restaurants, or advice from bloggers, it is easier to give our support if we identify with the story.

Ethel “Stephanie” Stuckey, heiress and granddaughter of W. S. “Sylvester” Stuckey, Sr., has invested much of her fortune purchasing the remaining shares of her father’s company to restore the Stuckey’s brand created by her grandfather. Stuckey’s had a successful start with only a $35 investment. However, it eventually was bought out by a corporation. The attention to detail and excellence was lost in pursuit of higher profits.

Seeing what had happened to her grandfather’s idea, Ethel Stuckey remarked, “It was our family legacy. It really broke my heart to drive by and see Stuckey’s stores that had turned into strip bars and poker lounges.” With vision and determination, the attorney and former member of the Georgia House of Representatives has spent the last couple of years setting out to reestablish the quality and success of what her grandfather began and her father sought to reestablish before his death.

Stuckey went on to describe how she had done away with the corporate logo in favor of the original one. “I love the elegance of the cursive old-school signature, paired with the temerity of the ‘T’ blasting like a trumpet announcing, ‘Stop Here!'”

Each week we encounter a day, a time, calling us to ‘stop here.’ This day comes with a compelling story, that of the creation of our world … of the creation of us. The day comes with branding. God called the day sacred, set aside, holy. As we look at the origin of Sabbath, we see a day observed by God. God rested. It didn’t stop there.

Reading stories of God’s children in the wilderness, we notice the details that point out the importance, the significance of Sabbath. Manna fell six days of the week but rotted if kept overnight. Not so on Sabbath. How could this happen? Why did this happen? God is always thorough in methods and approach. God deals with the details. Even the manna was different on Sabbath. God wanted those wandering in the wilderness to know a difference between the Sabbath and other days, so even manna made the day distinguishable.

A covenant, or agreement, made between two individuals, two entities, shows trustworthiness. That is how it is with Sabbath. Just as with Stuckey’s original branding, sometimes the details of the Sabbath can get lost in this world. Nevertheless, when we study the Bible we recall that the Sabbath is a sign, a covenant of grace with God and the people God loves and created.


For Reflection

Connecting: What Sabbath memories do you recall? Was yours a home with Sabbath toys, Sabbath meals, Sabbath clothes, and Sabbath routines? What indicators show that it is Sabbath in your life, now?

SharingWhat is the most compelling aspect of the Sabbath to you?

  1. It is from God who chose us, makes us holy and sanctifies us.
  2. It is a day of quiet in which I can reflect on God.
  3. It is a covenant for all generations.
  4. Observing the day brings us rest.
  5. When safely able, I commune with other believers and enjoy potlucks.
  6. Other:

Applying: The Sabbath may have changed for you during these months of COVID. Think about how you could still enjoy some of the fellowship and blessings of the Sabbath. Could you meet with another family or with friends or class members via Zoom for a vespers if it’s not yet safe to meet in person? What about each family or individual bringing their own food to an outdoor setting where distancing might be observed but the beauty of the area and the laughter of friends can be enjoyed?

Valuing: After reading Psalm 9:10, think about God’s faithfulness to you. What would you like to thank God for as you contemplate the grace and rest we are given through Sabbath?

~ Joy Veverka

Photo credit: Google Meet

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