(42-45 of Spiritual Discipline Handbook)
Sabbath was made for man; man was not made for the Sabbath- Mark 2.27
Watch our Sabbath Video
Sabbath is perhaps the earliest spiritual discipline- rooted in the days of Creation. God created the world in six days and on the seventh he rested. When God created humans, he knew they would need times of rest, just as he did; that when the work is done, we rest. The Sabbath was intended to be a full day of rest from the labour that occurred on the other six days of the week. It was a reminded to the Israelites that they were free and no longer slaves. When they were under Pharaoh’s Egyptian rule, they did not have periods of rest, now that they were free, they were to rest. It was not a suggestion or recommendation, but honouring/keeping the Sabbath was a commandment, the fourth one God hands down and the first one that is not directly and specifically about honouring God (by which we mean, the first three about honouring God, the Sabbath, while honouring God, is about taking care of our physical self). The concept of Sabbath was intended to allow humans to rest, restore their bodies and their minds, unfortunately, overtime, Sabbath rest became work. Instead of using Sabbath for a rest period, leaders started viewing as a day of rule keeping. Jesus understands that the Israelites were misunderstanding the commandment, leading him to say, “Sabbath was made for man; man was not made for the Sabbath” (Mark 2.27). So, what does Jesus statement mean for us?
God did not want our life to be all about work, he wants us to have time off where we can rest and look at our life and understand what is really important, what is more valuable and meaningful than earthly things. We are to use Sabbath as a period away from our earthly life- step back from work, turn off the tv, unplug from technology, and enjoy God’s presence and the things he provides for us. We need time to spend with our family, to make memories with them, and enjoy their presence. We need space in our life to go for walks, to nap, to read, and be still. Sabbath gives an intentional time to gather in fellowship with the communion of saints and offer praise to God through worship services and fellowship. Sabbath calls us to slow down and remember that God, as creator, can handle the earthly things as we rest in his trust and care.
What are some examples of Sabbath in the Bible?
How often do you intentionally practice the Sabbath?
What prevents you from regularly engaging in the practice of Sabbath?
What would an ideal Sabbath look like for you?
Why do you think Sabbath rest is important for us?
How do you feel (physiologically, mentally, spiritually) when you don’t take Sabbath rest? When you do honour Sabbath rest?
How does Sabbath help you nourish your relationship with God?
Plan an intentional Sabbath rest where you turn everything off and focus on nourishing your soul and body
Create a Sabbath box where you put your tech stuff and keep it there for a day.
Start your day with a period of Sabbath where you focus on God before you begin your day
Take one day a week where you don’t set an alarm and don’t have a planned to-do list. Allow the Spirit to guide you throughout the day