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Long ago, holidays were called holy days—times to cease work and remember God. Gradually, these special days lost the emphasis of focusing on God and became focused merely on rest, recreation, and fun. When Israel emerged from Egypt, God gave them the gift of the Sabbath day. We read God’s words to Moses in Exodus chapter 31: “Tell the people of Israel. ‘Be careful to keep my Sabbath day, for the Sabbath is a sign of the covenant between me and you from generation to generation. It is given so you may know that I am the LORD, who makes you holy. You must keep the Sabbath day, for it is a holy day for you.” For ancient Israel, the Sabbath was a sign of the covenant between them and God—by suspending their work, they acknowledged that they lived under His covenant. It also reminded them that God wanted them to live a separated life of holiness. Today, our Sunday celebration goes a step further. We celebrate the finished work of Christ of dying for our sins and rising from the dead. By coming together as a community of believers, we declare our gratitude to God for His grace; we affirm our relationship to one another as members of the Body of Christ; and we dedicate ourselves to live holy lives and promote His Kingdom purposes in the world.

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