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Sacred Rest

Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Exodus 20:8 NIV

In our bustling 24/7 365-connected lives, God’s fourth commandment to observe the Sabbath may seem an antiquated ideal. Yet, this divine directive, nestled within the Ten Commandments, holds a profound significance that transcends time. It is not merely a call to pause but an invitation to partake in a sacred rhythm established by God Himself. 

When God established the Sabbath, He did so as a seal upon His creation. The universe had been spun into being, life had been breathed into existence, and the cosmos had been set into motion. On the seventh day, God paused—not out of weariness but to proclaim His work was complete. This pause was an act of sovereignty, a declaration that all was as it should be.

This divine pattern is not just historical; it is instructional. In the same way that God rested, He calls us to rest. Not because our tasks are finished but because we are finite beings needing renewal. In a world that glorifies busyness, the Sabbath is a counter-cultural act of trust in God's provision and sovereignty.

Jesus, in His teachings, reframed the Sabbath not as a burdensome law but as a blessing for humanity. "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath," He declared (Mark 2:27). Christ's approach to the Sabbath was one of healing, restoration, and liberation from legalism. He invites us to find rest for our souls (Matthew 11:28-30), embodying the true spirit of the Sabbath.

In today's relentless pace, the need for a Sabbath is more pronounced than ever. It is a day to disconnect from technology and the clamor of productivity and reconnect with the Creator. It is a time for reflection, family, worship, and rest. By observing the Sabbath, we align ourselves with God's rhythm, acknowledging that we are not the masters of our fate but participants in God's grand design.

For me, for years, the concept of the Sabbath was entwined with the routine of attending church on Sunday and then swiftly shifting gears to prepare for the impending workweek. It was a rhythm I had become accustomed to, a cycle of worship immediately followed by the anticipation of Monday's demands. As I transitioned into my role as pastor, Sundays remained just another workday. The only change was that instead of being in front of a computer, I was now standing behind a pulpit, an extension of my vocational commitment. The sacredness of rest seemed elusive, overshadowed by sermons and services. 

However, the essence of the Sabbath—its call to pause and revel in divine blessings—beckoned me to seek a day of my own for such sacred observance. I chose Monday, a day to disconnect from life's relentless pace and immerse myself in the tranquility of God's creation. I confess I’m still a work in progress. I’ve not yet mastered the unplugging–but I am working on it. It has become a day where the gym's exertion is not a task but a celebration of health, where a nap is not a luxury. It has become a joyous and cherished day of spending time with Janice and our grandson William. In these moments, I find joy in simplicity and a new sense of the Sabbath, not as a duty but as a divine gift, a weekly reminder of God's generosity and grace.

Heavenly Father, in the whirlwind of our days, help us to embrace the Sabbath with reverence and joy. Teach us to rest in Your completed work on the cross, where Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice so that we might find eternal peace. May our observance of the Sabbath be a testament to our faith in You and a beacon of hope to a weary world. Amen.


Pastor Tim

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