Over the last month or so God has really been teaching me a lot about Sabbath. It’s been brought it up in conversations. One day the name of God I focused on was Jesus as “Lord of the Sabbath”. A friend posted on his blog about how he and his wife have been celebrating Sabbath. God’s led me to various passages talking about it, and even tonight at the Short Course it came up in a discussion of Psalm 23 and how God leads us to “lie down” … to rest.
One specific revelation in this area came while I was at the Workcamp ReGroup in Colorado in January. I went a day early to visit a friend and the next morning had a few hours after she went to work but before the conference started. Having been busy with preparations to move, some time to just sit in a coffee shop in Arvada, CO with Jesus was exactly what I needed. As I settled into that time I remember thinking something to the effect of “Man, I’ve missed this.” I started thinking back to the last time I had some time like this with Jesus. What surprised me in thinking about this was when I realized that it WASN’T very long before… in fact it had only been a couple days since I had some similar time with Jesus. What I took from that moment was the reminder that when God set up this whole Sabbath thing, he set it up to be weekly. Again, and again, and again, and again. It wasn’t just because I was in a “busy” season of life that I needed this rest. No, I am CONSTANTLY in need of this.
As I’ve evaluated my rest… my Sabbath lately, I realized that while I do a pretty good job of stopping my occupational work for periods of time, that’s not the only thing Jesus was talking about. For example, (with the exception of this month where I’ve been going to the Short Course on Monday nights) I do a pretty good job of staying completely away from church and church stuff on Mondays. However, I’m not sure packing every Monday with a long list of laundry, cooking, cleaning, running errands, etc. really constitutes as Sabbath. After reading my friend’s post I mentioned above, I decided to try to be more intentional about having a long period of time each week where I’m not doing a single thing that constitutes “work”… not occupational work, not house work… time to really focus on being with other people, or simply doing things that let me rest… that let me “lie down in green pastures… beside quiet waters” for a while. I don’t want this to become a strict thing… I want to stay in the spirit of the concept of Sabbath more so than the legality of it… trying to focus more on what Jesus did on Sabbath than say, the Pharisees for example. There is also an element of rearranging the way I’ve gotten used to doing life so that I do my work on the other 6 days of the week. This will probably be something I continue learn about the rest of my entire life. But a picture is beginning to form…. and lately, here’s a little what Sabbath has meant for me…
Sabbath nights are for…gathering around a meal and God’s Word with friends.
Sabbath nights are for… going to bed early…. or staying up late. 🙂
Sabbath nights are for… popcorn-eating and movie-watching.
Sabbath nights are for… phone conversations with friends.
Sabbath nights are for… enjoying my new home.
Sabbath days are for… not setting an alarm.
Sabbath days are for… staying in pajamas until noon.
Sabbath days are for… finally showering and getting ready at noon… and choosing intentionally to put sweatpants back on. 🙂
Sabbath days are for… recreation and exercise… and some Sabbath days are for taking a break from it.
Sabbath days are for… reading an entire Karen Kingbury book in one setting.
Sabbath days are for… laughter.
Sabbath days are for… writing notes to friends or family.
Sabbath days are for… journaling, prayer, and reading God’s Word with no time limit.
Sabbath days are for… putting down the Bible a few minutes into your time with God and realizing that sometimes taking a nap can be worship.
How do YOU celebrate Sabbath?