“The Sabbath teaches us grace because it connects us experientially to the basic truth that nothing we do will earn God’s love. As long as we are working hard, using our gifts to serve others, experiencing joy in our work along with the toil, we are always in danger of believing that our actions trigger God’s love for us. Only in stopping, really stopping, do we teach our hearts and souls that we are loved apart from what we do. During a day of rest, we have the chance to take a deep breath and look at our lives. God is at work every minute of our days, yet we seldom notice. Noticing requires intentional stopping, and the Sabbath provides that opportunity. On the Sabbath we can take a moment to see the beauty of a maple leaf, created with great care by our loving Creator…. Without time to stop, we cannot notice God’s hand in our lives, practice thankfulness, step outside our culture’s values or explore our deepest longings. Without time to rest, we will seriously undermine our ability to experience God’s unconditional love and acceptance. The Sabbath is a gift whose blessings cannot be found anywhere else.” Lynne Baab
“And now we’re all tired. We dream of that day when our work will be done, when we can finally wash the dust of it from our skin, but that day never comes. We look in vain for the day of our work’s completion. But it is mythical, like unicorns and dragons. So we dream…. [But] God, out of the bounty of his own nature, held this day apart and stepped fully into it, then turned and said, ‘Come, all you who are weary and heavy-laden, Come, and I will give you rest. Come, join me here.'” Mark Buchanan
“You can’t wait
for the Sabbath day
to be over….”
Moving From Head to Heart
- God is present everywhere, and continually present to us, coming to us in love. Have you been stopping long enough to “notice?”
- How are you at practicing thankfulness? … at stepping outside your culture’s values? …at exploring your deepest longings? Could the practice of “stopping intentionally” help you do better?
- When is the last time you “really stopped” for at least one whole day? Are you too stressed, distracted, or simply exhausted to experience God’s love–or to love others well?
Abba, help me to live by my convictions when it comes to keeping a weekly sabbath, and as I do, transform the other six days as well.
For More: Sabbath Keeping by Lynne Baab