For those of you who are regular readers, you know that I am a fan of “The Chosen” series. In the first season I especially loved the episode on the Sabbath and was deeply moved by the final scene of all the different families in different settings taking time to honor God. This week I will be sharing a series on the Sabbath which I wrote a few years ago but I believe with all my heart is needed now more than ever. As a young man, I belonged to a church that taught us some pretty legalistic forms of Sabbath keeping which sadly obscured the deeper truths and blessings for which God created the seventh day. The reality is that Christ is our Sabbath, and our only rest is in Him. But that being said, there does remain a uniqueness to keeping Sabbath which I hope we never lose. I will be delighted to hear not only your reactions, but how you keep Sabbath and the blessings you have found. So here is day one –
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. Exodus 20:11
This Sunday as I was resting, I began to thank God for having planned for us such a special day. The world is push-push- push 24/7 and 365. No day, no hour, no minute is any different from any other. One day when I was a teen-ager I was driving home from work. I was tired and, in a hurry, so when I found myself behind a long line of slow-moving traffic, I was particularly irritated. I couldn’t remember a construction zone in that area and the speed limit was 60-70 miles per hour so immediately I began to pass as many cars at a time as I could. I thought I was making pretty good time till I pulled out and noticed that the first car in line was a hearse! Oh, how ashamed I felt! The world is a lot like I was that afternoon. There is no time to slow down until we are being driven away to be buried!
But rest is coded into the very DNA of God’s creation. The Sabbath was unique because on that day when He was no longer busy with creation, God set aside an entire day just to spend time with Adam and Eve. God wasn’t worn out or tired from His work but instead He rested by choice. Today is the first in an eight-part series on why God has made the Sabbath unique. I am sometimes afraid that in our modern world we have forgotten how to rest. In our worry and hurry, our pushing and shoving it is so easy to forget the value of Sabbath rest. God’s day is not meant simply as a ritual observance or a duty to be carried out with gritted teeth. God’s Sabbath is His gift for us. Together let’s slow down and allow the wheels of life to cease turning just long enough for us to unwrap His gift and look into God’s humble and unhurried heart.
Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. Mark 2:27