March 17, 2021
Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. (Exodus 20:8)
The most successful student during my law studies was a devout Christian. She never studied on Sundays and established a firm boundary that our mutual projects had to be finished before Sabbath or else wait until Monday. I often thought this was a waste of valuable time and wondered how she excelled. I credited her success solely to her more superior intelligence. One day, the penny dropped – perhaps one reason for her success was because she chose to honor God and the Sabbath and had sufficient rest.
God set the example himself by resting on the seventh day. He took the time to reflect on his marvellous creation after six days of work. Jesus himself said the Sabbath is intended for man. At the heart of the Sabbath is rest. God gave a mandate for us to recharge; not just us but the whole household – sons, daughters, servants, livestock, and sojourners – and even the land. Clearly God wanted the whole of creation to take a break.
I confess I find keeping the Sabbath tough. More correctly, I find receiving the gift of rest and freedom difficult. I like being busy and have a fear of emptiness. At the root of this is pride, a need for control and a fear of missing out if I slow down. In wanting to do things in my own strength, I forget that I can trust God to provide. Over the years, I often have had to repent of this, to surrender such worries and learn to say “this is enough.” Perhaps you can relate to this as well.
There is no perfect way to “do” Sabbath, each person is at liberty to do what is godly and also restful. I would encourage everyone during this Lenten time to rest one day a week and to be intentional in trusting God. You will reap the rewards when God provides recharge and renewal.
Father teach us to enter your rest and on the Sabbath day to remember that your work comes before mine. Amen