“Father, I Receive Your Gift of the Sabbath;
My Heart and Soul Rejoice in the Freedom that Awaits Me!”
Focus of the Month: Traditions
Feelings of being over-worked, over-whelmed, over-stimulated, or over-scheduled can cripple us on a daily basis. We welcome a moment to just sit still and breathe. But, don’t we need to keep moving in order to keep living? Life seems to be full of yes after yes with No break in sight and all the yeses seem like good decisions until we collapse in our exhausted worn out bodies.
The gift of the Sabbath was revealed long ago. Found first in the book of Genesis 2:3:
So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all His work that He had done in creation.
In the book of Exodus, as Moses was leading God’s chosen people out of slavery from Egypt, we see the gift offered again:
“See! The Lord has given you the Sabbath; therefore on the sixth day He gives you bread for two days. Remain each of you in his place; let no one go out of his place on the seventh day. So the people rested on the seventh day.”
In the New Testament Jesus calls himself “Lord of the Sabbath.” He reminds us that the Sabbath was made for man. If only we choose to embrace the refreshment we find in Jesus, our Sabbath!
Think about what it might mean, how our lives might be changed, how our souls might be restored, simply by accepting the gift of rest. We would receive freedom, in a sense, from the chaos of a hurried world. Imagine more stress free days, more calm and peaceful hearts, more time with those you love and a steady feast in the Word from the God who gives us all we have. It will require our cooperation.
So, how do we know we are in need of this gift? If we become slaves to the very things that were meant to bring us joy; if they no longer feel joyful then we need the Sabbath. If we haven’t built margin into our home schedules, our work schedules, our hobbies and even our appetites then we need the Sabbath. Just as a parent sets protective boundaries around their child or a spouse uses wise boundaries to protect their marriage we must use boundaries (set margins), in a healthy way, so that we can enjoy all that is before us. Our Heavenly Father didn’t create us to work or add something to every moment of every day. He meant the Sabbath to be a protection for us. What a lovely gift indeed. So, unwrap this beautiful love infused offering and start stopping to breathe today.
Holding Fast to Hope,
Scripture References: Genesis 2:3, Exodus 16:29-30, Matthew 12:8, Mark 2:2