The Sabbath. A day designated for rest and reflection.
There is much discussion surrounding this commanded day of rest, is it meant to be Sunday or Saturday? Is it only so that we can attend church? etc.
In my own exploration into the significance of this day I have discovered that the Sabbath is meant to be so much more than the day that we attend church. In a world where every day can be packed full of to-do lists, meetings, catch-ups and getting life chores done, we run the risk of making a day of rest just another thing to tick off the list. This was never the intention of God.
Let’s take it back to the beginning. When God created the world, He set about to change what was already present. He changed nothing into something. Where there was no form, He brought form. Where there was no life, He created life. For six days He went about asserting His authority and creative power over the nothingness that existed.
This is what work is. Each day, in a much smaller way, we perform the same function. We take something and change it into something else. Take for example something really simple like an email, what was received as unread is turned into a read email because you opened it. Or a small business owner, where there was no stock is changed into stock when they place an order for stock. Everyday we are asserting the same authority of God in our work, taking something and changing it into something else.
So when God decided to take a day of rest, what did He do? He set about changing not a single thing. God set aside His authority, His ability to create change and instead stood back to simply enjoy the work He had done. In the same way, a Sabbath or Shabbat (Hebraic term) is designed for you to stop, step back and enjoy the work of God that is all around you.
“We rest in a Sabbath sense when we no longer interfere with the world. In this way, we emulate God’s rest on the Sabbath, when the Creator ceased working on the world. During the six days of Creation, God asserted mastery over the universe by actively changing it. Then came a day in which the Creator relinquished that mastery to rest. We emulate God when we relinquish our mastery over the world on the Sabbath, by refraining from altering nature. For one day, we declare a truce between ourselves and the rest of God’s creations.” (ref. )
The encouragement this Sabbath day is more of a challenge really. When it comes to this day, are you able to relinquish your mastery over the universe, the world, and declare a truce with with work, with creation, with worry and the fear of being idle?
I believe it’s a challenge worth attempting and allowing whatever surfaces from this challenge (the annoyance at being still or the fervent need to fill the time) to bring us into a state of reflection and deep searching as to what the driving the force truly is in our lives. Because if the driving force in your life is Jesus, then resting like Him and with Him will be no challenge at all.