Then Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people, and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord, even over the Sabbath!” – Mark 2:27-28
Creation story God’s rest Genesis 2:1-4
Ten Commandments specific instructions Exodus 20:1-17
Day to stop work, enjoy rest, practice delight, and contemplate God.
What do we do on the Sabbath?
- Stop work.
“On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from all his work of creation.” – Genesis 2:1-4
Anything that is labor. Step back from errands and household work as well.
- Enjoy Rest.
(same verses as above.) Requires advanced planning. Engage in activities that restore and replenish us – spending time with family/friends, reading for fun, napping, hiking, reading, eating good food, playing games, hobbies. Avoiding the news and social media.
“Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God. On that day no one in your household may do any work. This includes you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your livestock, and any foreigners living among you. For in six days the Lord made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy.” – Exodus 20:8
- Practice Delight.
God described creation as “very good” in Genesis 1:31. Joyful recognition and celebration of accomplishment. We should enjoy God’s creation. “What gives me joy and delight?” Feast on the miracle of life with our senses.
- Contemplate God.
Day for worship time. Gathering with believers. Personal time with God. “Pondering the love of God is the central focus of our Sabbaths.” It is time set aside to draw closer to God. Be with God. Who you are is more important than what you do.
A time for healing: guilt (about what I do) and shame (about who I am). Time and space essential for healing.
Core Spiritual Formation Discipline – essential delivery mechanism for God’s grace and goodness in our lives.
It provides a God-ordained way to slow us down for meaningful connection with God, ourselves, and those we care about.
“There are some things God can deposit into our souls only when we unplug completely from work and rest.” – Peter Scazzero
“Sabbath is not primarily about us or how it benefits us; it is about God and how God forms us…I don’t see any way out of it; if we are going to live appropriately in the creation we must keep the Sabbath.” – Eugene Peterson
“To fail to see the value of simply being with God and ‘doing nothing’ is to miss the heart of Christianity.” – Lynne Baab Sabbath Keeping: Finding Freedom in the Rhythms of Rest
“So don’t let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink, or for not celebrating certain holy days or new moon ceremonies or Sabbaths. For these rules are only shadows of the reality yet to come. And Christ himself is that reality.” – Colossians 2:16-17
“In the same way, some think one day is more holy than another day, while others think every day is alike. You should each be fully convinced that whichever day you choose is acceptable. Those who worship the Lord on a special day do it to honor him. Those who eat any kind of food do so to honor the Lord, since they give thanks to God before eating. And those who refuse to eat certain foods also want to please the Lord and give thanks to God. For we don’t live for ourselves or die for ourselves. If we live, it’s to honor the Lord. And if we die, it’s to honor the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. Christ died and rose again for this very purpose—to be Lord both of the living and of the dead.” – Romans 14:5-9
Talking about respect for each other and rhythms of life, local church context, wholehearted devotion to God.
“For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. If you serve Christ with this attitude, you will please God, and others will approve of you, too. So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up.” – Romans 14:17-19
Jesus is Lord, it’s okay to heal, to do good on the Sabbath: Matthew 12:1-14 Luke 6:1-11
Jesus heals a man who could not walk, in the context of Sabbath, confirming his identity as Messiah. – John 5
Jesus healing on Sabbath, establishing place of worship as a place to receive healing miracles on the Lords day, healing the woman under demonic impact on her ability to walk, for 18 years. – Luke 13:10-17
Jesus heals on the Sabbath, putting the question to Pharisees. – Luke 14:1-6
Mechanism to help us receive the grace of God (and new greater ability), the love of God (and give love to God).
It is a day to simply rest in God’s presence and the truth that who you are is more important than what you do.
How should we respond?
- Read up about Sabbath.
- Identify 24 hours.
- Make a list of what brings you delight.
- Prepare in advance.
- Define your protective “container” – and then experiment.
- Find support.