A Sabbath Day Gift

June 17, 2013

“Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. …the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. …Therefore the Lord your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.” – Deuteronomy 5:12,14,15

House-hunting. Writing project. Softball practice. Summer activities. Water and electricity bills. Basketball camp. Tomato plants and two trees next to the garage to get planted. Birthdays to plan. Work presentation next Thursday. Home projects. Details of the trip out west. These were all the activities that I heard about last week. Everybody is busy. Rarely do I hear, “I have nothing to do.”

Do you feel ransacked…exhausted…waylaid by endless demands and stifling routines? Even your upcoming vacation plans have a panicky, task-like edge to them. The mantra of your day: “If-only-I-had-more-time.” Is this the real problem?  Wouldn’t this be more accurate: you’ve forgotten God’s ancient wisdom for you? You have forgotten the Lord’s own rhythm of work and rest.

To remember God’s own Sabbath – given for you, not for him – is to be handed the elixir to the productivity game playing around you and in your own life. What a gift God has given you in the Sabbath! A gift for your sanity and wholeness. A gift to enrich your lives. A gift to make your joy complete. Sabbath restores your bent and withered parts.

The best part of the Sabbath? Jesus. “If you’re exhausted and panicky…if you are ransacked…come to me…I’ll give you ‘sabbath,’” Jesus invites.

Imagine if you had to secure your eternal position with God based on endless demands…stifling routine…panicky productivity? Much like your days now, you would grind…and obsess…and fixate…on what you could never actually secure by yourself.

Jesus has secured forgiveness for your sins, including the one where you ignored God’s wisdom of work and rest. Always living up to the demands of his Father and the law, Jesus has carried all of your weariness to the cross. There he paid your death sentence. He now lives. Jesus is the gift for forgiveness and eternal life…for rest.  Jesus is the gift for your sanity and wholeness. Jesus is the gift to enrich your lives. Jesus is the gift to make your joy complete. Jesus restores your bent and withered parts. Jesus is rest.

Take a breath and relax. Jesus is your Sabbath gift.

Prayer: Dear Lord, for my ability to work, thank you. For the wisdom to rest, thank you. For the gift of Jesus who is my true rest, thank you. Amen.