November 19, 2012

True Rest


I'm very excited to have Eimile from Reflect on the blog today. She has the knack of getting straight to the point, but in an encouraging, heartfelt way. As we bring this series to a close this week, it only seems appropriate that we begin tying... or redirecting the Sabbath back to the Gospel... back to Jesus. And Emilie does that perfectly here. So enjoy, and be sure to start keeping up with her blog!

Sabbath. What exactly is the purpose of Sabbath? Is it simply to recharge after a long week? Maybe. But I don’t think that’s the whole story. I just knew it had to be more than that. That’s when I found Hebrews 4. 
So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God's rest has also rested from his works as God did from his. (Hebrews 4:9-10 ESV)
Weariness. Sometimes that feeling creeps in when I’m not necessarily “busy”. Maybe I’m not working or doing homework. But I am thinking about other people or my future or having the right clothes or Hurricane Sandy or world hunger. Thinking is not exactly laborious – but these kinds of things make me restless. Weariness is not just about work. Rest is not just about not working.
So what is Sabbath? Yes, it is a time to recharge, both physically and psychologically from our work. But Sabbath is more than that – it is so much more than that. Sabbath is about the Gospel. Sabbath is about Christ. 
It is a celebration of the Rest we have received in Christ. We are no longer enslaved to sin or self-sufficiency. Sabbath is the celebration of our restored communion with God and people. Sabbath is about worship and rest. 
It is the anticipation of the eternal rest we will experience in heaven. Rest from sin and the effects of sin. Rest from the curse of the fall. Rest from suffering. Rest from striving and people pleasing. True Rest. 
I encourage you to live in Sabbath. Now.  To enjoy the gift of Rest you have received.  To worship God for his salvation.  Because you have been freed from enslavement to idols like money and reputation. Because God has and is restoring all of creation. Because we can live in community as the church, the people of God.
Rest is not a burden. Rest is not boring. It is a gift. It is good. It is Sabbath.  

4 comments :

  1. So good. I was just thinking about Sabbath again because I came across the passage where the Pharisees confront Jesus' disciples about picking food on the Sabbath.
    As I sat on the verse (not literally) it hit me: Sabbath is a kind of mercy. I think this is what your post is getting at also, his rest is mercy for us.

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  2. Thank goodness we don't have to be enslaved to our self-sufficiency. Well said!

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  3. Hmm, food for thought!
    When my mind wanders and over-thinks, I should focus on the Sabbath, the rest it needs.

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