Practice Stopping!

Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy

“Six days you shall labor, and do all your work; but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work…  For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and consecrated it. ”  Exodus 20:8-11

What does this mean?

“We are to fear and love God so that we do not neglect his Word and the preaching of it, but regard it as holy and gladly hear and learn it.”

— Martin Luther’s Small Catechism

 Anyone who has seen “Fiddler on the Roof” knows that our Jewish sisters and brothers celebrate the Sabbath from sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday, stopping work for a full day to acknowledge God, the creator of all, who rested on the seventh day, and to celebrate the God who set them free from constantly having to labor as  slaves in Egypt.

And if God needed a day of rest on a regular basis, humans certainly did as well!   Instead of observing weekly Sabbath on Saturdays to rest and hear God’s Word,  however, most of the  Christian Church began gathering on Sunday, the 8th day, the day of the “New Creation ” begun by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

So, how is it going with you in giving yourself a Sabbath day of rest? Our culture is such a high performance culture that unfortunately most of us, myself included,  keep busy even when we are off work, racing around getting chores done or keeping our kids busy with sports, music, and other things we deem necessary to their success. Some questions to ponder:

If God stopped for a day of rest, what makes us think we don’t need one?

What might be keeping us from taking a break from our labors?

What might be different if we truly gave ourselves a day of rest?

How might worshipping God help us stop and rest?

  What might we be afraid of if we practiced “stopping”?


Shabbat shalom! Sabbath Peace to you!

Pastor Gary