This week in worship we looked at a bible word that may be familiar to many, but misunderstood by some. We’ve probably heard it spoken. Maybe we’ve even read it a time or two. But do we really know what it means? The word is Sabbath. It’s a word that we often translate as day of rest or something along those lines.
Honestly the whole idea of Sabbath is a tad off-putting to me. Not because I don’t think I need one but because we so often think of Sabbath as a day of doing absolutely nothing. And I’m not really sure that’s the point of this whole Sabbath idea.
The word means rest for certain. And it comes highly recommended! Actually it’s commanded in the Old Testament and demonstrated by both God and His Son in both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. As early as Genesis we see this idea of sabbath come into play. God creates the whole world in six days, then on day seven he rests or sabbaths. But what did God do while on his sabbath? Why did he take a day off? Did he run out of steam and need to kick back and take a nap?
Obviously many of these questions are a tad ludicrous! No God didn’t need a nap. And no he didn’t run out of steam! He stepped back so that he could enjoy creation and to give us an example of how to live life.
Jesus did the same thing time and time again in the gospels. He stepped away and rested. He prayed. He went off by himself. He found a secluded place. These are normal things for Jesus to do. We all could learn a little from the way Jesus lived his life.
But why? Why did he feel it important to step away? And perhaps a better question is why should we find the time to regularly and intentionally step away?
The purpose of a sabbath is to help the distance between our load and our limits increase.
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Think about it this way. We love to fill our days with as much as possible so we feel more productive. We wake up earlier and go to bed later all so we can get more stuff done! We fill every waking hour with an activity or task because down time is, well uncomfortable. But we weren’t created to run at 100% all the time! The more we load into our days, the more we push the limits closer and closer to the edges.
The principle of the sabbath is to take regular and intentional time to step away in order to reconnect. It’s been said that we should rest from our work so that we can work from our rest. When we take time to work hard and rest well, then we’ll be more productive in our work and more filled by our rest.
Find time in your schedule to increase the gap between your load and your limits. You’ll be super glad you did!