The Case for Sabbath:
Genesis 2:1-3 NIV Genesis 2:1 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. 2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3 And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.
Pleasure. Can we doubt as we read the creation story that God took pleasure in His Creation. He took pleasure throughout his work but it was not complete until He rested. And later the importance of this rest is reaffirmed in scripture:
Exodus 20:8-11 8 "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. 11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
Sabbath rest is so important to God that He not only ordained it He participated in it. It's so important to God that among all the rules He created for the ordering of life God put this one on His own "Top Ten List". Sabbath matters.
So why do so many people break this rule? Oh we have our reasons. We tell ourselves, "We are so busy." We tell ourselves, "Surely God won't hold it against me." We tell ourselves, "It's just this week." Yet as the TV commercial says,
"400 Million" other sources around "169 Million" but here's that great commercial for you to watch and laugh over:
Mark 2:27-28 27 Then he said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. 28 So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath."
This past two weeks were tough ones. Less tough for me than for others but none the less - difficult weeks. Two members and an extended member of our church family died. Two funerals lots of visitation on top of the standard schedule. I was sorely tempted to work 7 day weeks. I really needed to work 7 day weeks. But the call of Sabbath was there. And I forced myself to take them.
What kind of Sabbath?
I bet most of you didn't know there was a debate right? Well some "strict sabbatarians" believe you should only rest and worship on Sunday. Others "Recreationalists believe play is rest". Can you guess which one I am?
Not all of us can take Sunday off. Some of us who are very religious work on Sundays. So what are we to do? Take another day. And do something different.
This is not biblical advice but I believe it is good advice. If you work outdoors take a break indoors. If you work indoors take a break outdoors. If your work is sedentary get moving. If your work is physical take it easy. This can't become a rule but let it be a suggestion. Kayak fishing is just right for me. Physically demanding, outdoors, and less talking.
You need this. The Sabbath is for you.
Both of the past weeks were tough but days on the water refreshed in amazing ways. And yes some of my work was not perfect. I didn't close every little loophole but I accomplished the work before me. I met the needs of the people who count on me and I was able to continue the race. This is a life's journey not a week's journey.
And now some pictures!
I love this series:
Yes I let him go. I let many of them go this day. I did take 3 home for dinner and it was good. Morning and Evening the next day!
I took pleasure in my rest. It's ok. I take pleasure in my work too. But if I am to sustain my work to the glory of God I must obey His command to rest. This is true for Clergy, plumbers, lawyers, carpenters, and even Moms.