As I've been reading through The Chronological Bible this year, I've been struck by the emphasis on keeping the Sabbath. Over and over again throughout the Old Testament, God chastised His people for failing to keep the Sabbath. (Nehemiah 13:13-21 & Ezekiel 20:12-24)
Isaiah even mentioned that there was a blessing for keeping the Sabbath: "Blessed is the one who does this— the person who holds it fast, who keeps the Sabbath without desecrating it, and keeps their hands from doing any evil.” Isaiah 56:2
And this emphasis on the Sabbath carried over to the New Testament: "There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his." Hebrews 4:9-10
This isn't the first time I've felt a prompting about observing the Sabbath. I read a great book on observing Sabbath rest and tried to incorporate that into my life, as I wrote about here.
But somehow, I let it slip away. I let Sunday become just another day for doing chores and running errands after church. And I didn't notice for a while that the hurried feeling I was experiencing during the week corresponded to having let my Sabbath rest slip away.
One of the key things that our pastor has preached on since starting this new church is that observing the Sabbath can be like a "snow day" (a time of rest spent with family or friends, enjoying God's creation without having places to rush to) and that we can have a "snow day" every week if we will set aside time and observe the Sabbath.
I've been reconvicted that it is important for me to NOT treat this day as just another day. It is holy and set apart. It's about trusting God with my time and about realizing that my errands and chores can wait. It's also about reconizing that the Sabbath was designed to honor God and to provide rest. Soul rest. And I know I could always use more of that.
It's been almost a month of Sundays now since I set out to observe the Sabbath, and I see a difference. I don't have strict rules because that's not what this is about. Instead, it's about being intentional with my time--giving my time as an offering--and being willing to see how He wants me to spend it. It's a "restful journey," which won't make sense until you try it. So join me next Sunday and see what you think.