Thursday, April 30, 2009

Exhortation-Sabbath Rest

Today is the Lord’s Day, Resurrection Day, the day of the Christian Sabbath. What does Sabbath mean to us? Sabbath was one of the central confrontational issues in the New Testament. Jesus was always causing problems on the Sabbath. Or, I should more accurately say that Jesus was pointing out problems on the Sabbath and problems about the Sabbath. Jesus healed on the Sabbath. Jesus fed His disciples on the Sabbath. Jesus walked through the fields and picked grain on the Sabbath. The establishment did not like this.

We need to learn how to rest. We need to learn Sabbath. Now, part of what I mean by this is abstaining from your busy desires on the Lord’s Day. You need to put aside your work, your busy emails, your striving and driving to get ahead in the world. Getting ahead on this day means putting your trust in the Lord. Do you do that?

But even if we don’t work to make money, or do our normal jobs, say of being a student and studying on the Lord’s Day, Sundays still require work. We have to get up and get ready for church. We often have guests over for food and we all know that good food and a fine table is a lot of work. We have all of these kids to take care of and that is work, too. So, where is our Sabbath, among all this hustle and hurry?

Well, that is the point, isn’t it? Stop a minute. Slow down. Take a breath. We should ask, not only, “How do I practice Sabbath, but Who is my Sabbath?” Jesus is Sabbath. Jesus is rest. You need to learn to rest in Jesus all the time. We should have entered a continuing Sabbath but that takes practice.

The Lord’s Day is a good day to practice Sabbath. Stop doing so much. That’s good. But also learn that in any doing that is left, and some of it is necessary, that the rest continues in Jesus.

Sabbath is about peace with God. Sabbath is about thinking God’s thoughts after Him. Sabbath is about forgiveness. Sabbath is about hope. Sabbath is about resurrection. It takes some planning and slowing down to see all of this but you can see this even in the work you do on the Lord’s Day. So, rest in Jesus today. Rest from your labors. Rest from your striving. Rest in God’s promises. Rest in Christ.

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