Unless one learns how to relish the taste of Sabbath while still in this world, unless one is initiated in the appreciation of eternal life, one will be unable to enjoy the taste of eternity in the world to come… The essence of the world to come is Sabbath eternal, and the seventh day in time is an example of eternity. (Abraham Joshua Heschel, The Sabbath)
Happy Friday Christ Church!
Well, that was quite a spate of weather this week! I hope you enjoyed your snow days off from school, church, work, etc. Snow days, while an inconvenience in some ways, are such a gift of unexpected time: time to rest, bake cookies, clean a closet, go into your prayer closet, talk with friends or family, take a nap, read a book, watch a movie, etc. In other words, snow days are a wonderful picture of God’s gift of Sabbath.
Author Peter Scazzero practically and helpfully talks about the Sabbath principle as follows:
Stop. Sabbath is first and foremost a day when we cease all work — paid and unpaid. On the Sabbath we embrace our limits. We let go of the illusion that we are indispensable to the running of the world. We recognize we will never finish all our goals and projects, and that God is on the throne, managing quite well in ruling the universe without our help.
Rest. Once we stop, we accept God’s invitation to rest. God rested after his work of creation. Every seventh day, we are to do the same (Genesis 2:1 – 4).
Delight. After finishing his work in creation, God pronounced it, “very good” (Genesis 1:31). This was not an anemic afterthought — "Oh, well, it’s nice to be done with that" — but a joyful recognition and celebration of accomplishment. As part of observing Sabbath, God invites us to join in the celebration, to enjoy and delight in his creation and all the gifts he offers us in it. These innumerable gifts come to us in many forms, including people, places, and things.
Contemplate. Pondering the love of God is the central focus of our Sabbaths. What makes a Sabbath a biblical Sabbath is that it is “holy to the Lord.” We are not taking time off from God; we are drawing closer to him. Sabbath is an invitation to see the invisible in the visible, to recognize the hidden ways God’s goodness is at work in our lives.
In a busy world where we are often on the run to obligations of various sorts may we learn to embrace God’s weekly snow days - His Sabbath.
I look forward to seeing you this coming Sabbath as we contemplate the grandeur of our God together in our corporate worship. We will be looking at a short parable highlighting another aspect of the Kingdom of God. You can find it in Matthew 11:16-19, though reading all of Matthew 11 will be helpful for context. The Kingdom is not limited by our expectations!
Grace and Peace,