THIS SERIES: HOW TO ENTER REST
At regular intervals we spend a weekend with a group of special friends which always entails much laughter, relaxation, good food, lots of sharing and fellowship, learning, praying and breaking bread together—all in the presence of the Lord. A weekend from which we return feeling refreshed and recalibrated, stirred up again in faith and purpose.
This also is Sabbath—taking time out from our work-a-day lives to enjoy and celebrate the rich provision of God; a period of time when appliances are switched off, work is halted, when the cook has a respite, and we can refocus on what is truly important. A period to celebrate God’s provision, and relax in His grace.
Paul made it clear that we are no longer required to keep the Law laid down in the Old Testament, which pointed to the greater reality which is found in Christ. This included the obligation to keep special days as Sabbaths or festivals.
Sunday is often seen as the ‘Sabbath’ by Christians, but in reality is often far from a day of rest, and frequently is the busiest day of the week. Hundreds are involved each week in meeting-hall preparation, ushering, preaching, serving refreshments, children’s work and worship leading, clearing up, and a host of other worthy commitments. Then it’s back home for the Sunday roast, and a short rest, then back to church for the evening service. Valuable contributions they all might be, but definitely not rest! And if you add these activities to the remainder of the local church programme, no wonder so many Christians suffer from burn-out.
So let’s try to carve out real Sabbath-time for ourselves, periods of rest when our mechanical work-horses are silent, when we can spend time being rather than doing, when we can recalibrate our bodies, souls and spirits in the presence of the Lord. To be sure we will need some creative ideas from the Lord, especially for those with care responsibilities for family members or young children, those with workaholic partners or huge business commitments. But God promises to give wisdom to those who ask [James 1:5]. And even an hour is better than nothing.
You can read more about Sabbath in The Healing Power of Sabbath Rest
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[**Photo credit: Arthur Poulin (bottom) @ Unsplash, with thanks]