Resting in God – Reflection for 20 August 2017
Isaiah calls all people to the Sabbath. The faithful, the eunuch, and the foreigner are equally instructed to keep the Sabbath and not profane it. The eunuch who has no legacy except his work is told that his legacy will be not in what he accomplishes in the court but rather in the house of the Lord. His meaningful “work” is in delighting in the Sabbath. The foreigner who has no past or inheritance, through the Sabbath, finds her place among the people of God. It is the Sabbath that brings all peoples together in a house of prayer.
The Sabbath in ancient times as well as today is inherently countercultural. I have far more things that I “need” to do than I can fit into seven days, much less trying to get everything done in six! Making time for Sabbath reorders our “needs.” If I am honest, I need to rest in God far more than anything else on my To Do list. The Sabbath reminds us that it is God’s grace not our efforts that supply our needs. Wayne Muller goes so far as to say, ““If we do not allow for a rhythm of rest in our overly busy lives, illness becomes our Sabbath—our pneumonia, our cancer, our heart attack, our accidents create Sabbath for us.”
The Sabbath prepares us and restores us. In Creation, the first task for mankind was to rest with God. Adam and Eve were created at the end of the sixth day and joined God in resting on the seventh (Genesis 1:26-2:3). Jesus challenges the Pharisees who tried to make keeping Sabbath a punitive exercise of all the things that were forbidden by asking “Is it lawful to cure on the sabbath?” (Matthew 12:10)
How will you find time for Sabbath? What will you find in your Sabbath? Will you find strength, healing, rest, encouragement, peace, or even more?