Mark 2:27 reminds us that God made the Sabbath for us. Why would He do that? On top of that I am sure that is not what I was taught while I was growing up. I am sure that I was told that the Sabbath (Sunday if you’re Christian) was to be a Holy day and should be spent as much as possible in church – or was that just my memory of growing up?
In many ways, the Sabbath has become a full of tradition and for some, very legalistic. In fact, I am sure as a child that there was some law somewhere which said that we shouldn’t even have any fun on the Sabbath!
Yet, the scripture says that our all loving Father in Heaven made the Sabbath for us. That does not fit the image of the Sabbath that many of us may have known.
To truly understand what the Sabbath means for you, it is important to understand the true meaning of the word. The Hebrew word Sabbath is “Shabath,” which is a primitive root word meaning to desist from exertion. It can also mean to be made to cease, or to be made to rest.
You see we are by nature people who “do” and as a result we find it hard to stop or relax. God knew our weakness because He created us, and so He knew it was essential to build in an enforced day of relaxation. It is a day for reflection, communion, encouragement and enrichment.
Many people find it almost impossible to down tools for a day and try to have a rest. Yet we know from a previous article that even athletes who do not rest and over train can damage themselves and spoil their chances of winning. There was a famous slogan in the ‘90s, which was “work hard – play hard.” That is the outworking of people who did not know how to relax and were relying on their adrenaline. The sad fact is that many suffered from burnout.
I engaged a painter to do up my offices. While he was painting my part of the office we got talking about business, and it was clear he was very knowledgeable about business. I asked why he had so much knowledge and he told me that he was once a leading business leader who fell into the ‘90s syndrome and had a breakdown. He couldn’t do any work that increased his adrenaline requirements, or he would start to shake. Hence, now he is a painter.
Some could try to use this as an excuse for not going to church, but if they do so, then they do not see church as something they could not do without. Church is meant for communing with God and should be a place for rejoicing, invigoration, and mutual support leading to companionship. I like to think of it as going to the power house.
After Church we have the chance to relax with others and to recharge our batteries. Enjoy the tradition of a Sunday lunch, or having a picnic out with the family, or just any social or relaxing activity. We can enjoy being together without “Goals to achieve”, “schedules to meet”, or other stressful activities.
When we take a day out of our hectic schedule to reconnect with our family, our friends, our God in heaven, who loved us enough to create the day for us, then we will have the inner fortitude to face the world and all its problems on the other six days.
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