September 22, 2019 at 8:30 am · naltadonna · 0 comments
We live in a culture where busy is expected, exhaustion is a status symbol, and productivity is an indicator of our self-worth. We often view rest as a means to an end, with the “end” being going back to the grind of more work. Yet when we are on the edge of burn out, when we are not our best selves because of our exhaustion, and when our happiness wanes from the long days, we know there has to be a more sustainable way to live. This week we looked at the fourth commandment of the Ten Commandments in our series Set in Stone that helps us embrace a better way to live. This commandment states, “Remember the Sabbath day, and treat it as holy.”
Until God delivered them, the Israelites were living as slaves in Egypt, working seven days a week with back-breaking labor. For a people who never got a day off, this commandment of God must have been so freeing for them. For the Israelites, the Sabbath was not just a command, it was and is a gift. In Exodus 20, God reminds us of the story of creation. In six days, God created the whole earth, and on the seventh day, God rested. We rest because God rested. The rest was not a means to an end, the rest was the culmination. The rest was just as important as the productivity. The first thing God declared “holy” was Sabbath. If we can get this commandment right, we can recapture the sense of the holy. According to Exodus 20, Sabbath is intended to be a holy and set-apart day, a day without work, and a day to the Lord.
To keep Sabbath, we must remember four “R’s”: 1) Remember. This is a day to remember God and how God is active in our lives through Christ. It is a day to give thanks for rest, celebration, and play. It is a day to remember that God set apart a day to rest and enjoy the world without distraction. 2) Rest. It is a day for us to recharge and rest. If we think we do not need rest, we are essentially saying we are more indispensable than God. 3) Reflect. It is a day to experience life with wonder and awe. Sabbath helps us discover where we are going and whether or not it’s where we want to end up. 4) Rejoice, Sabbath was given for pleasure and joy. We are meant to enjoy the gifts of creation, gifts such as good food, time with friends and family, naps, and long walks outside. God delights when we are at rest and enjoying life. In his book How to be Here, Rob Bell writes, “Sabbath is when you spend a day remembering that efficiency and production are not God’s highest goals for your life. Joy is.” We encourage you to take some time this week (hopefully a whole day!) for Sabbath to rest, be renewed, and remember God.
- Monday- Exodus 20:8-11
- Tuesday- Genesis 1:31-2:3
- Wednesday- Psalm 92:1-8
- Thursday- Isaiah 56:1-8
- Friday- Matthew 11:28-12:14
Questions to Consider:
- How can God’s gift of Sabbath help you experience the fullness of life?
- What three things renew you?