Importance of Sabbath

Every Monday morning in the last year, my vicar/boss and I sit down for morning prayer and then we'd go over to his office and we discuss what I need to do for that week. Sometimes, it's a long-term project like organising a Holiday Club for the summer or sometimes it’s short term like making sure that our website is updated.

Sometimes, I don’t always get things done during the week and in a determination to get them done, I do it on Saturday morning, at home on my day off. When it started becoming a pattern, one Monday morning, after our morning prayer, I was told to hold up and rest up. I was told the importance of rest and more importantly the importance of Sabbath.

Sabbath came from the Hebrew word Shabbat which meant cease or desist. Sabbath was created to pause and cease our routine to rest in the Lord. God thought it was so important for us to rest that He did it Himself to highlight it’s importance.

Friend, now more than ever, sabbath is so important. In a time where there is so much distraction, so much to do and that to-do list that never ends, God’s rest, true rest comes in the form of sabbath where routine is ceased and you are filled up to take on the next week with God’s strength.

I had no idea how much God valued sabbath until I was reading Leviticus. Sabbath isn’t just good for our soul but is good for our land. Leviticus 25 talks about rest for the land. Every seven years, the Israelites are required to not plant seeds in their fields. At first, I thought that it taught dependence on the Lord to provide food but that isn’t the only reason. After years of growing plants, soil can get exhausted (who knew!) and wouldn’t have enough nutrients for the plants to use and it will be difficult for the plants to thrive.

Can we just take a moment to be in awe with the Lord? He teaches us the importance of Sabbath by explicitly stating that we need to have Sabbath in the bible, giving us examples like God taking a day to rest AND showing it through our world.

But this the disclaimer friend. Sabbath isn’t just doing nothing for the whole 24 hours. For some, doing nothing and watching paint dry can be more stressful than working. Sabbath means rest in the Lord, in the way that suits you. Some of my friends rest by painting, some of my friends rest by going on walks while others rest by spending time with family and friends. While it could be a combination of all or something completely different, sabbath means to intentionally invite God, do things with God, allow time and space to linger a little longer and listen to Him.

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For the longest time, my sabbath and my rest is to do some Mixed Martial Arts. God and I have a routine – God and I walk to the gym and while walking, I either play some worship which I sing along to or I listen to a sermon. On days where I feel like I don’t want to do either or my head isn’t in the right space for it, I pray as I walk. When I punch, my mind travels to what is worrying me and funnily enough, the punching gives me rest. I sometimes tell the enemy ‘not today’ as I throw that left hook and I smile knowing that my God, my father and my best friend is there cheering me on.

That is my sabbath. Friend, what is yours?