Sabbath Blog Series

By: Reality SF

One of the best parts of being in school was the summer. As a kid you looked forward to the freedom of summer, the carefree nature of sleeping in as long as you wanted, going to the beach or lake, spending time in the sun, or just being with little to no responsibilities, knowing the school year was still far off.

Many of us long for some sort of time off in our current lives. We yearn to breathe deep, to slow down and to not have to think about the demands of our job, relationships, or the world around us. We long for something like a sabbatical, a period of extended sabbath. But what could such a sabbatical look like? Is it simply time off doing nothing or could it be something richer, something more?

Over the next few weeks we will be sharing a Sabbatical Guide meant to serve as a framework in which you would be able to reflect on the past season of your life, reorient your heart to be present to Jesus, and discover new ways to experience joy and life with God. The Sabbatical Guide is broken up into 3 parts:

Part 1: A Time of Play: Be Enveloped in Play & Fun 

Part 2: A Meal to Share: Dine in God’s Goodness & Love

Part 3: An Extended Time of Solitude: Be Alone with God

How & when you choose to experience them is entirely up to you. Our hope is that this sabbatical is not simply time off but a time of rest (as previously defined), reflection and intentional joys that breathes life into the tired spaces of your heart. Invite your friends to sabbath too.

If asked to define sabbath, most of us would define it negatively; sabbath = not doing something, shutting the world out for a day and not doing anything. We assume when God rested on the 7th day of creation he did it the way we do on a lazy Sunday afternoon, exhausted from a long work week, kicking his feet up, grabbing an ice cold beverage, watching tv or reading a book and being decidedly idle.

Sabbath is about rest but for God it was not about the type of rest defined as, “resuscitation due to fatigue”, as one commentator reminds us. Rather, sabbath is about God reveling in and enjoying His contentedness in His life-giving work. As Norman Wirzba puts it, “God’s rest has nothing to do with fatigue, as if God could become tired of creative work. Rather, it has to do with the intense joy and peace, the supreme delight and contentment that followed from God’s life-giving work…For God, rest is best understood as God’s complete entrance into life and as God’s availability to and joy in the beauty and goodness that is there.” This is the kind of rest that a sabbatical is all about.

To learn more about the character of God and Biblical Sabbath, please peruse our Discovering God and Following God sermon series.