Happy Monday to everyone! Yes it’s Monday again and that only means one thing especially for people like me who works full-time in the Church: Rest Day or Day Off. However, more than this just being a rest day, it is primarily our Sabbath.
Sabbath, as defined by google, “is a day of religious observance and abstinence from work, kept by Jews from Friday evening to Saturday evening, and by most Christians on Sunday.”
Sabbath is very famous to a lot of people because it is part of the ten commandments:
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. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
Growing up, the concept of a Sabbath in the culture I lived in means making sure that I go to Church once a week. Over the years however, as I became a Christian, my mindset of the Sabbath changed. For the past years, honoring the Sabbath for me means that I shouldn’t be working on this day. Hooray for rest day! I used to picture the Sabbath as a day where I can freely do all my hobbies without having to think of my responsibilities in work. For me that means a day of either: Sleeping, watching Sports (NBA, MMA, Tennis), listening to the songs of my favorite bands, playing the guitar (well not that much anymore), running, writing, Studying Mathematics (YES I consider that a hobby), oh and did I mention sleeping? That’s my “ideal” kind of Sabbath, a day where I can just freely do anything that I wanted.
However as I continued to study and learn more about the word of God. I realized that my picture of what the Sabbath should look like is a bit off tangent. It’s not totally wrong, but the focus and center of my picture of the Sabbath isn’t what it should totally be. The things I mentioned above are part of it, but Sabbath is something more than those things.
Following are three important things I learned about the Sabbath (even as I write this I’m still in the process of discovery and learning more about the Sabbath):
1) The Sabbath day is PRIMARILY a time of FELLOWSHIP between GOD and MAN.
Yup! You read that write. Sabbath is more than just a day off or a “no-work” day. God made the Sabbath so that we can just enjoy our relationship with him on this special day. Don’t get me wrong, we should enjoy our relationship with God every single day, however there’s something about the Sabbath where we’re commanded to not work so that we can focus more on our relationship with God. I see this every Monday. I see that I have a LOT of time in my hands compared to a usual work day. Now, because of the amount of time I have in my hands, I no longer have any excuse not to have my quiet time with the Lord. In fact because of the Sabbath I even have extended periods of time just reading his word and letting him speak to my mind and heart.
In Genesis, when God created the heavens and the earths it says there that on the seventh day God rested:
And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.
Pastor Joey Bonifacio, author of the book “The Lego Principle”, explained that the reason God rested was not because he got tired, because God never grows tired nor weary. No, God rested from his work so that he can have fellowship with us. That’s the reason for the Sabbath day.
How have you been spending your sabbaths? Pastor Manny Carlos, the executive director of Victory Ministers Association said that the Sabbath day shouldn’t be a “FLESH BREAK”, it’s a time we commune with God so that we can rest, draw energy from him and be ready for the week that is ahead of us.
2) Honoring the Sabbath day communicates our TRUST in God.
Honoring our Sabbath means to not work (not to the point of LEGALISM though like what the Pharisees instituted). Last 2014, I thank God that I was able to honor my Mondays last year. I made it a point, and was very intentional in leaving work in Church. I learned from one leadership podcast that God made the Sabbath to tell us that he will still choose to love and bless us even if we don’t work. The reason there is because God values more our relationship with him more than our performance for him. Honoring our Sabbath communicates how much we trust God because we know that even if we don’t think about work, God has everything under his control.
3) Sabbath is about ENJOYING the beauty of CREATION with the CREATOR
Lastly, I mentioned above that it’s not totally wrong to engage in our favorite pastimes during the Sabbath. However, what we need to be to be careful of is making these things the ultimate thing during our Sabbaths. I believe that it’s about enjoying these created things with God together and not taking him out of the picture. Like a Father to a Son or a Daughter I believe God wants us to see the beautiful world around us that he created. This is the picture I see in Genesis.
Imagine for a second with me. God had just performed the greatest show on earth by setting-up the whole universe with all the galaxies, stars and planets in their proper places. After that, God’s now just finalizing his finishing touches in one of his masterpiece called Earth. Then the seventh day came when he rested with the pinnacle of creation: Mankind. As soon as mankind opens his eyes and activates all of his senses, he immediately sees God and the whole universe that he had created. I picture that to be a breathtaking sight. One way of resting and enjoying our sabbaths: By enjoying the beauty of God’s creation with God himself.
Hope this blog helped you gain more insight in what the Sabbath day really is for. Again, I’m still learning about the Sabbath but I do believe that it is really primarily a time of FELLOWSHIP with GOD and MAN, TRUSTING Him more and more, and lastly enjoying the beautiful world that God created together with him.
Have a great Sabbath ahead of you! 🙂