Monday, September 21, 2009

Sabbath Rest

"Then He said to them, 'The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.'"
Mark 2:27

A very important element of the house church that I did not mention yesterday is regarding the Sabbath. Now, when I bring up the Sabbath I do not intend to do so in a legalistic way that assumes my way is best. Nor is Sabbath-keeping something we do to earn points with God. However, I have come to feel that we are settling for much less in our spiritual lives (and the health of our lives in general) by not keeping the Sabbath well. The struggle for me has been finding the best way to actually have a day of rest. It seems impossible, especially in most of American church culture. If our Saturdays are full of "secular" things, then our Sundays are full of "church" things. We never slow down.

This is one reason we decided to worship from 1:00 -3:00 pm. For starters, we have the opportunity to get a little more sleep. I don't think this is necessarily being lazy. I think it is being obedient. The reason the Sabbath is one of the hardest commands to keep is that it is fun. We feel as though we're doing something wrong. In fact, what's wrong is not recognizing the God-ordained limitations on our bodies and souls. Secondly, the time is a bit counter-cultural. Sunday afternoons are prime time for many people. Sure, this requires a bit of sacrifice in some areas, but there are blessings that come with it. There is a beauty is allowing the body of Christ to "mess up your day." The truth is, I could stand for more of my days to get "messed up" in this way.

A final blessing I will suggest about Sabbath-keeping is that it reminds us that after all of our "doing," what matters most is to simply "be." It is not only a day of rest for our bodies, but for our souls. We, who are always trying to move and shake, must ultimately learn to rest in who we are in Christ. We also learn to "be" in community. Sabbath is a day where we slow down long enough to be present to the people who matter most in our lives.

Sabbath-keeping will look different for everyone. I am glad that, at least for now, we have found a way to enjoy this often neglected commandment.

"Be still, and know that I am God."
"Be still and know..."
"Be still..."
Psalm 46:10

1 comment:

  1. brad --
    this blog about the sabbath really resonated with me. since our talk the other week about time for our worship, i've spent time in prayer and considering the sabbath. i know that it is definitely good for me to take this for mind, body, & spirit.... i have begun to question why it seems so natural to fight against it. it does conflict a little with the time that is usually available for my family. but there are other things --work things--- i do then too. this is an area i feel i really need to work on and allow myself the benefit God intended me to have from it. thanks for your insight. God is still working on me about this.