“By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.” - Genesis 2:2-3
Theological Reflection: And then, God rested! Imagine that…a day set aside since the beginning of time for rest. God reserved this day to enjoy the work of his hands. The word seven in Hebrew is “sheba”. This is where we get the word sabbath or in Spanish, Sabado (the seventh day of the week). The Jews still protect this holy day and “do no work” on the Sabbath. It is part of their religious law. It is actually a sin to work on the sabbath. Jesus observed the sabbath also, not out of obligation to the law, but out of reverence to God and because it was good. He often went to be by himself to care for his soul (Mk. 1:35; Lk. 5:16; Lk. 6:12). Furthermore, the fourth commandment says to “Remember the Sabbath Day” (Exo. 20:8). It is the only commandment that does not start with “Do NOT…”. The spirit of the law regarding the sabbath is to rest from the demands of life, work and ministry — not to regulate it.
Personal Reflection: Several years ago I was golfing on a Monday down in San Diego. Part of me felt bad for not working on a day where the majority of people were already back in the rat race. I had to let that go. My golf buddy for the day asked me when I take days off as a pastor. I told him they were few and far in between. At the time I was working two full time ministry jobs and one part-time side hustle (batting instruction). I was rarely home. I felt a true conviction in my heart to take better care of my soul, my wife and my family. I knew right then and there I needed to make special time to rest, recreate, and reflect with my God and my family. I have never regretted that decision.
Spiritual Application: Here at The Mission we are a hard-working people, but we also need to know when to rest. Therefore, it is incumbent upon us to protect at least one day out of our week for rest and for worship. Maybe we need to scale back our commitments on the Lord’s day or another day. This may be a process, but let’s commit in our hearts to slow things down in this fast-paced world. Let’s discipline ourselves. Your body will thank you for it. Your family will never forget it. Your soul will be filled and God will you bless for it.
Happy Labor Day,