The Sabbath


#1

The Sabbath

We need to learn to “receive our time differently.”
-God , Creator and Owner and Giver of time, modeled for all creatures the proper stewardship of the gift of time. “And on the seventh day God finished the work…and rested on the seventh day from all the work that He had done.” Leisure to rest and play, to create and to be recreated, is a basic necessity of life.
One of the marks of Divinity is that God knows when to stop working, when to rest, when to enjoy what has been created by work.
-We too must learn when to stop.

There is a basic human need for a different quality of time than that which we experience in the daily routine of our lives. We must learn to understand that the world has already been created and will survive without the help of man.

-Sabbath is about recovering holiness in time.
-Gone are the Laws that closed business and slowed us down on Sundays. We are going to “make” and “take” time for Sabbath so that we can “spend” time with God. The ultimate purpose of Sabbath time is to be with God, to use human time to open up space for God.

-We often say how busy we are. It is a complaint…but beneath the complaint that we are too busy, may well be a way of saying, “See how needed I am.” Who are we trying to convince? Nothing I “do” ultimately assures my value. My value lies in being a creation of God and in Jesus Christ as the source of my salvation–my choice to good works is but grateful response. This is so hard to accept because we do not deeply, existentially, understand that God is Love.

-What we need to recover is a profoundly biblical concept, a concept which, in fact, is given by our gracious God as a command–that of Sabbath. We need to make structured opportunities for Sabbath time, for times of rest with God and God’s people.

-We are invited to do so by Jesus…“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take up my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gently and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Mt.11:28-29)

-The life of Jesus suggests to us that “Sabbath time” need not occur on the seventh day of the week. Jesus was “making Sabbath” when we see Him withdraw for prayer and reminds his disciples of their own need to “come away” for a bit.

-Perhaps the hardest obstacle to be overcome is our “making Sabbath time” is the obstacle of what we call “putting away our earthly anxitey.”

-We resist Sabbath time because it forces us to consider the nature of our attitude toward work.

-Some of us may resist the notion of Sabbath time because it forces us to face painful issues of our own identity before God. “Who am I when I am not doing what I do.”

-The purpose of life is to further the Divine Purposes, not to advance our careers or make more money or even provide security for our families.

*- At its core, Christian life is a profound cooperation with the plans and purposes of God, and Sabbath is so clearly to be a part of God’s purpose for God’s people.

*** The higher goal of spiritual living is to “face sacred moment.”**

-Our inability to find time for Sabbath rest is, at worst, a form of idolatry and, at best, putting our own agendas before God’s.

-Sabbath is an “acquired taste”, one that prepares the spiritual taste buds for heaven. It keeps us in touch with God Who Is Our Source and Destination.

-The point of slowing down, of Sabbath time is to learn to live in the present, for it by attentiveness in the present moment that we encounter God. With regard to time, we Christians must become distinctly counter-cultural!
-Thomas Merton, “The ordinary everyday human existence is the material for radical transformation of consciousness.”

-Sabbath gives us the gift of time to live more fully in the present and thus to reconnect with God.

-A proper “Spirituality of time” is one that seeks to bring life and prayer together– When we have the experience of God’s NOW our lives will be radically transformed.

**-We need to “slow down to a human tempo” ** and to experience time as it was meant to be experienced.

-The call to “take time and be holy” is a call to integrate prayer to life, for they are, in fact, one.


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