Thursday, March 5, 2009


The spiritual practice of observing Sabbath was initiated by God in the very beginning of creation; “on the seventh day God rested from all his work that he had done” (Genesis 2.2). When the law was given to the people of Israel, they were commanded “to remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.” Spiritual rest, therefore, was not optional, but an essential part of our covenant relationship with God.

Early Christians gathered together on “the first day of the week” in commemoration of the resurrection of Jesus, but they did not cease to observe the Sabbath, the time of rest that God commanded them to keep holy. However, over time, as Christianity became increasingly distinct from its Jewish origins, the practice of observing the Sabbath fell into decline.

But there remains a Sabbath-rest for the people of God. God continues to call us to a place of spiritual rest; we all need space in our lives to experience Sabbath-rest. Often times our vision of rest includes a hammock comfortably positioned between two palm trees on a white sand beach in the Caribbean. However, the Sabbath-rest that God offers us is not an escape from the world (the complexity and confusion of our daily lives), but rather the rest of God is meant to be experienced in the midst of daily life. Spiritual rest is not a matter of escape, but exchange – “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” We exchange our weariness for His restfulness!

During this season of Lent, let us answer God’s call to examine our over-stuffed lives, to reflect on ways that we can de-clutter our lives in order to create space for the Sabbath-rest of God.

1 comment:

  1. Boy this was an eye opener -- made me think of all the different ways people interpret Sabbath-rest I've heard of throughout the years, None, just as stated above, some close.