Is the Sabbath relevant to Christians today? We ask the question like it is some bitter pill we must swallow, while the world outside is literally tripping over itself to market concepts of rest, self-care, mindfulness, gratitude, laughter therapy and other such shadows.
Christians, come on—let’s enjoy our beautiful heritage! From the very creation of the earth God modeled a Sabbath rest. Jesus said the Sabbath was made FOR us. (Mark 2:27) This gift of rest includes two facets: to stop working and to draw near in relationship to God. One day a week stop working! This requires faith though. How will we stay competitive if we take a day off? Our fear about performance roots into our identity whether a farmer, a Silicon Valley techie, or a minister. Few Christian businesses take this bold approach to obedience. Few individuals enjoy a truly restful, spiritual respite in their week.
My friend Shinae and her husband were compelled to build the rhythm of a weekly Sabbath into their young family after hearing a message on creating margin. She shared, “The Holy Spirit deeply touched our hearts about taking a full day off and relaxing spiritually, mentally, and physically on the Sabbath. Rather than doing our work and schoolwork on Sundays we finish by Saturday night. On Sunday we go to church, spend family time together hiking and biking. We invite friends over, read, and so on.” She ended with this, “I truly believe that taking a full Sabbath makes our family’s life more abundant and enjoyable.”
One day in seven we design to look like heaven. Go ahead, imagine heaven and make your Sabbath mirror it– joy, peacefulness, childlike hope, laughter and wonder in the glorious presence of Christ the King. The believer’s rest includes a rest from strivings, a rest from fear, rest from working out a righteousness of your own, a rest from sorrow. As we place a boundary around this focused time, ask: Is our heart softened to hear God’s voice? Are we positioned to receive from God Almighty? Can we offer Him the praise and honor due His Name? We set a boundary around our Sabbath to think higher, dream bigger, love more deeply, and find our stride with God.
“It is good to give thanks to the Lord, and to sing praises to Your name, O Most High; to declare Your lovingkindness in the morning, and Your faithfulness every night…” (Psalm 92, A song for the Sabbath day.)
If you need resources on how to walk closely with God, check out my book Gracious Living, creating a culture of honor, love, and compassion. It can be found anywhere books are sold, or at http://www.MargaretAllen.org.