Thursday, August 30, 2012
Sunday Recap: "STOP!"
Sabbath comes from a Hebrew word that means, "Stop!" Stop working. Stop worrying. Stop running around. Stop trying to prove yourself. Just stop -- and rest.
I see 4 key aspects of Sabbath that correspond to the letters R-E-S-T:
R - Rhythm: God has built natural rhythms into the universe. The sun rises, the sun sets. The tide comes in, the tide goes out. The moon orbits the earth, the earth orbits the sun. Summer turns to fall, fall turns to winter, and so on. One of those rhythms is the rhythm of work and rest. Genesis tells us that God created the world in 6 days and rested on the seventh: "And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested ..." (Genesis 2:3). Sabbath is a way to bring our lives back in line with this God-created rhythm.
E- Enjoy: One day a bunch of religious leaders were giving Jesus a hard time because his disciples didn't follow all the rules and regulations concerning the Sabbath. In reply, Jesus said, "The Sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the Sabbath" (Mark 2:27). This is such good news! God gave you the Sabbath to enjoy. Go outside and enjoy God's creation. Spend time with family and friends and enjoy God's gift of fellowship. Watch a funny movie and enjoy God's gift of laughter.
S- Set Apart: Exodus 20 says, "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy." The word holy means "set apart." Sabbath is time that's set apart to rest, reflect, and renew. I hope that can be Sunday for you, but if not--what day (or even two half-days) could you set apart as a time to STOP the normal routine of life and rest?
T- Trust: When we STOP and rest even though work is piling up around us, it's an act of trust. It's a demonstration of our faith that God can run the universe without us.