Take a day out of the week to rest.
It is a practice which means that you’re not going to get it right all the time. It’s also a skill set that you have to master just like learning to play the guitar or learning to speak a new language. It takes months or sometimes years.
The practice of Sabbath is also the exact opposite of a rule. It’s a life-giving discipline to open up our whole life – our mind and our body – to the Holy Spirit.
Like all the spiritual discipline, if we think of Sabbath as a rule, we miss the point. I believe that how we spend our time is how we spend our life. So, Sabbath is a means to an end and the means matter.
Personally, the older I get, the more I am realizing that a well-lived life comes not from the major choices we make but from the minor ones such as morning routines, what we do on weekends, how often we spend time in social media, etc.
Basically, a well-lived life comes from our habits and how we spend our time.
It’s the minor decisions that over time have the power to shape our lives.
Cultural Amnesia about Sabbath
Part of our problem is basically our to-do list stretching to infinity and back again. Whether that to-do list is coming from our job; your role as a father, mother or our role as a daughter or son; or from practically anything at all.
The reality is that we are erecting our own Babel, looking to our jobs for identity and self-worth. And that road goes straight into the dark and then off a cliff.
I was born in 1976 and at the risk of sounding like an old person who relishes in the good old days I’m going to say it anyway. I still remember growing up where everything was closed on Sundays. Everyone goes to church and then spends their times with families and their communities.
Sunday was a day when the world stopped working, stopped consuming, stopped selling. It was a day to rest and to worship.
What could happen to the next generation if all they know is hustle and no resting and worship?
The world now is suffocating under the weight of the digital age, materialism, urbanization, and the breakdown of the family.
So many things that have sped up the world to a frenetic, hurried pace and we’re losing our soul and we’re not even aware of it.
People are gasping for air – emotionally, mentally, spiritually.
You can be in the thick of a Bible-believing church where you don’t have the progressive, secular urban thing and you’re still be dealing with the same issues – the distraction from your phone, website, money (and too much of it or lack thereof) and the materialism that comes with it, and just the busyness of life that comes with the modern world.
A life of hurried, distracted pace is a life you can only live for so long until it does something to your soul. You erode away a part of your humanness.
What we do with the ancient rituals today affects where the church goes in the future. Along this line, I believe that today an even greater threat to the future of the church more than secularism and the progressive agenda is honestly the distraction, the busyness and the materialism of our culture.
It’s hard to imagine much of the future of the church if the followers of Jesus don’t set aside a day to re-centre on Jesus and what really matters, to restore our soul through companionship with Jesus, our community and our own self. This is alarming!
Quite honestly, Sabbath is tied to the question of how much life do we want?
If you want to experience the life that Jesus has to offer & you want to become the best version of yourself, you have to slow down, take time to rest and enjoy Jesus Christ’s company.
What Sabbath is not?
I shake my head when I hear people argue about whether or not we have to keep the Sabbath, and if so, on what day. Some say Saturday like the Jews, others say Sunday because of Jesus’ resurrection, others think any day is fine. All this arguing is missing the point.
When we get into the rules and regulations around it – what day it has to be, exactly when do we need to start (at night or in the morning), or can we do it different days – if we start asking a ‘can and can’t’ question when it comes to Sabbath, we’re missing the point.
Let’s make sure that our heart posture isn’t radically missing the point because Sabbath isn’t a rule, it’s a practice or a discipline.
And what is the point? The point is we are created by God.
Sabbath is not a day in the sun.
Sabbath is not a new idea, rather it’s a lost spiritual discipline.
A creator who works in this rhythm of 6 days at work and one day at rest and if we want to thrive and flourish as a human being, then we, as a creation, created in the image of the Creator need to adopt that rhythm of 6 days of working and 1day for rest and for worship.
There is a way that God set us up to thrive. When we Sabbath, we tap into God’s rhythm for human flourishing.