Spiritual Discipline: Sabbath
Our culture invites us into constant activity and exhaustion. In our world of unending hurry, we are trained to fear silence and even to avoid rest itself as a sign of insignificance (if we’re not working or doing something productive, who are we, anyway?). Thank God that this is not what Jesus invites us into. Any one who reads Matthew 6 or John 15 will have a hard time missing Jesus’ vision of a slow life of trust and surrender. And the Bible makes is clear that Sabbath, as a discipline we engage for the sake of our souls, is essential for establishing a healthy, whole rhythm for life. In Sabbath, we acknowledge our limitations. And we acknowledge that we need a rest far greater than what 24 hour break can provide.
This is a prayer my wife and I pray as we enter into a time of Sabbath rest every week. However you set it up (a 24 hour period or some other arrangement), let’s not neglect caring for our souls through times of Sabbath rest, delight, fun, and recreation.
On this day, at this hour, we remember that You are the Sabbath rest. That you have won for us and given us rest ineffable.
Thank you that today we don’t need to run around frantically or in hurry. We don’t need to spend money or buy things to be fulfilled. We don’t need to chase after winds of pleasure that never fully satisfy. We reject the empty lies so often trumpeted around us: that in exhaustion and consumption and limitlessness we find meaning. Instead we proclaim with joy that we have clear limits and that we are not in control. We rejoice, then, in our weakness and take refuge in you, knowing that You are enough. And on all days, at all times, You are enough, even to the deepest longings of our souls.
Today we celebrate life. We live in your kingdom on earth.
Give us ears to hear the whisper of Your Spirit, the fragrance of Your beauty, the power of Your name. Lord, refresh us this day to live anew in You.
Through Christ our Lord,