If God did not rest because God was worn about after His creation, why did God rest? Genesis gives us several clues when it states (2:2) “finished His work” “rest” “blessed” “made it a holy day”. God modeled our need for rhythm and provided a sense of the sacred in rest. Other gods would literally work followers to death but the God of the Hebrews instituted a day of necessary rest for us. Someone declared, “Skipping Sabbath of violence for the soul.” Sabbath is a forgotten artifact relegated to the closets of our lives and culture. I believe it is time to dust off this valuable gift and celebrate Sabbath.
One of my favorite theologians, Winnie the Pooh, declared “Don’t underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, or just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear and not bothering.” The prophet Isaiah declared that (30:15) “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength:…” Current research affirms the value of necessary rest and the business world refers to it as “whitespace”. Abraham Heschel (a respected Jewish author) wrote, “A man (or woman) who works with his (her) mind should Sabbath with his (her) hands, and a man (or woman) who work with his (her) hands should Sabbath with his (her) mind.”
This October 29th, we will gather together for a Sabbath experience from 9am-3pm, involving worship, rest, silence, play, good food, and a community of other pastors and church leaders. Indeed, Sabbath is a gift.