Published on February 1st, 2005 | by Tony Felich0
Pastor’s Corner February 2005
The following was published in our monthly newsletter, the Redeemer Report.
“Come unto me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Do you feel like the hamster on the wheel that never stops spinning? Does your household resemble a group of individual tenants coming and going and never stopping to relate with one another? Do you find yourself exhausted and constantly fatigued and even a bit burned out? “Such is life”, many well-meaning people would say. I used to think this way also, until I really started to study concept of observing the Sabbath. After all, observing the Sabbath Day is one of the Ten Commandments, it’s not a peripheral matter. Certainly some view “Sabbath-keeping” as legalism. Unfortunately, there have been teachers and preachers who emphasize what we shouldn’t be doing on the Lord’s Day and cast such a practice in a negative light. The fact remains, God has made the Sabbath for man, it’s part of our divine design, it will serve to make us healthier physically and spiritually. Who among us couldn’t be helped by slowing down for one day each week? There are three great benefits to observing the Sabbath- worship, rest, and encouragement. All are to be done in the context of our families and Church family. It serves as a respite from the hectic events of the regular “work” week. Don’t get me wrong, God won’t love you more for keeping the Sabbath, that’s not what it’s about. Instead, as you start to make the Sabbath day holy and different from the rest of the week, you find rejuvenation that you have probably yearned for and didn’t know existed. The Sabbath is not meant to be a pharisaical, legalistic thing. It is a gift from God to man. He is saying, “I give you one day in seven to worship, rest, and be encouraged by the gospel of grace in the company of my people”. Such rest will fuel us for a week of service. Our very “make-up” is built for periodic Sabbath rest. Much of the “burn out” we experience in this culture can be traced to not following the manufacturers directions! We need the Sabbath!
Here are some practical suggestions for a profitable Sabbath Day:
1. Prepare for Sabbath Worship on Saturday
Talk about how special Sunday is with your children
Prepare meal(s) for Sunday on Saturday
Prepare your heart for worship and the Lord’s Supper
Get good rest Saturday night
2. Make effort to be at the regular community events on the Sabbath
Sunday School, Morning Worship, Sunday Evening Worship
Encouragement comes from fellowship with your brothers and sisters in Christ
3. Take a break from “usual” routine on the Sabbath Day
Is TV necessary? Are the Chiefs more important than communion with God and His people?
Use some time to go over catechism with children, review their Sunday School lessons.
Spend family time fellowshipping/talking/recreating, etc.
Take a break from your work (except for ministries of necessity and mercy)
The Sabbath is a patch of ground secured by a tiny fence, when we withdraw from the endless choices afforded us and listen, uncover what is ultimately important, remember what is quietly sacred. Sabbath restrictions on work and activity actually create a space of great freedom.
In the Lamb,
Pastor Tony Felich