Sabbath: Freedom

This June we’re talking about Sabbath.


Sabbath is both a reminder that God brought the Israelites out of slavery into freedom and a separation from the rhythms of slavery. We are to stop to appreciate what God has done for us and to celebrate with God. And we are to stop because God gave us the freedom to do so. Created in God’s image, we can take a Sabbath pause because God did.

This echoes throughout scripture. God granted us life in creation. God granted us rhythms that go against the systems of unceasing production the world wants to impose upon us. God so loves us and the world that God sent God’s child into the world to make us whole again. In all these movements of God, there is freedom granted by God.

Celebrating this freedom in celebrating Sabbath makes us aware of all the ways we are not free. It makes us aware of all the ways others are not free. And, if anyone is not whole, not free – we are to help bring wholeness to their lives so we might all celebrate together. This is where Jesus and his disciples gleaning the fields on Sabbath or healing on the Sabbath come in – if one is lost or hungry or needs help on the Sabbath, should we ignore them? The Sabbath is for us, but it is not about us. Instead of focusing solely on our needs, we learn a Sabbath way of thinking: to appreciate what we have been given, and to discover what we might share.

Sabbath calls us to remember our creation, our freedom and our joy in and with God. Sabbath calls us to resist the temptation of busyness, so that we don’t miss God’s purpose and work in our lives. Sabbath calls us to holy rest that is life-giving, not just for ourselves, but for all people. How will we respond?

Sabbath: the regular practice of an intentional pause… to revel in God’s delight. Try it.

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