This is not the scene in Central NY on this date. It is below freezing and snow covers everything right now. However, I took this picture a number of years ago not far from where I live. When I think of “Sabbath” I think of a scene like this one. Wouldn’t it be wonderful just to sit in the swing and enjoy the lake below on a warm summer’s day. Wouldn’t it be wonderful not to have appointments to make, lessons to develop, papers to grade, and writing to be done. Wouldn’t it be wonderful not to have the cell phone ring with the office needing your attention. Wouldn’t it….. I am certain most of you would say “yes,” to some, if not all the above questions. However, Sabbath is what we try to make happen in the middle of all that.
Most of the Christian’s I know do not have any concept of Sabbath at all. We usually think that all went away with the Law, and therefore in grace we do not need to keep Sabbath. Well, I think the majority of us may be right in reference to a specific day (I think Paul thought so too in Colossians), however, I see the concept of Sabbath everywhere in the New Testament.
Jesus Christ is the Sabbath of God. “Come unto me all ye who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest…” describes Sabbath very well. Matthew 6 with all its “Do not be anxious…” commandments, was also describing what Sabbath is to mean. Sabbath must be kept. We keep it through obedience and faith. Faith that truly is faith — the trust of the Lord that allows one to rest in the middle of everything flying everywhere. Jesus is rest for the weary soul.
However, I think we cut short the Sabbath understanding if this is how we think it is now. If we do not literally take time to rest a day, let everything wait, carve out not just small spaces, but a nice big “day” space, then we will miss what it really means to keep Sabbath. I am finding that if the body doesn’t find its rest, then the soul can’t rest. It is a whole; they are connected. So most of us, I think, need to re-think the ordering of our lives and find Him in rest, allow Him to renew us in rest, and learn to embrace Him and His Word through rest. Not a legalistic keeping of a day and its rules, but a purposeful time of resting in order to delight in Him.
Just some thoughts.