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Archive for the ‘Sabbath’ Category

Sabbath and Worship

The Sabbath is a day of rest, but it’s also a day of worship. Curiously, worship is also work. Liturgy literally means the “public work,” or the “work of the people.” Now, how does the work of worship fit in with the notion of Sabbath as rest? This answer really isn’t too hard. Certain work is precluded on the Sabbath, namely our daily work. The Sabbath is set aside for rest and the special work that God calls us to on the Sabbath day, including public worship. Another aspect of public worship is that of warfare (which is also tremendous work). Pastor Doug Wilson briefly explores the warfare aspect over at his blog – enjoy. But, more importantly, thoroughly enjoy the Sabbath!

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It’s been a little while since I’ve posted on John Maxwell’s Everyone Communicates, Few Connect. I really like this book; I find John’s teaching simple, common-sensical, and very applicable. This post is on connecting with folks and the energy that it takes to do so. Anyone who has ever met John, will attest that he loves people and loves to spend time with people. But even so, he needs rest and rejuvenation:

Even though I am an outgoing “people person,”I still require a lot of private time to recharge my emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual batteries. I believe this is true for most speaks and leaders.

Energy Needed

Maxwell identifies two ways to do this: 1) plug energy leaks, and 2) refill the tanks. For pastors, there are all sorts of tasks that drain them and pull them away from the more important aspects of ministry. Pastors: try to delegate those tasks. Everyone else: ask you pastor what you can do to relieve him of some tasks that sap his energy and can be done by someone else. Refilling the tanks is a different thing. Maxwell mentions that different folks gain energy differently. That’s true enough. I want to focus on the Sabbath. We need to learn to draw energy from the day of rest. Further, I think it a wise practice for pastors to have a day of rest. How can we expect them to work six days and then labor on the Sabbath, too? This rest/recharge/refill aspect is one of the glorious pearls of wisdom embedded in the Fourth Commandment. Let’s learn to refill ourselves more and more on the Lord’s Day.

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Burden or delight – which is it for you?

Do you glory in the day of rest that God commands, or is it a drag? Do you look forward to that great day each week, or do you look forward to it being over?

In highly theological parlance: If the Sabbath sucks, we’ve made it suck. There are at least two ways that this can occur. We don’t love Christ and don’t want to rest in him. We, therefore, find worship and rest a real drag and would rather be doing something else. Sometimes, however, we love Christ, but, by our own mishandling of the commandment, we’ve turned the Sabbath into a day of boredom and idleness. We’ve taken a day meant to fill us up and turned it into a day that drags us down and deflates us. In short, we’ve boiled the kid in its mother’s milk.

If the Sabbath is a burden, let’s check both our own hearts and also check our own legalism (doing what the Bible says, by the way, is NOT legalism). Let’s beg our God, in Christ, to make the Sabbath truly a day of rest and gladness. Let’s implore him to make the Sabbath a delight – to us and our children.

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Mark 2:23-28 – One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields, and as his disciples walked along, they began to pick some heads of grain. The Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?”

He answered, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need? In the days of Abiathar the high priest, he entered the house of God and ate the consecrated bread, which is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions.”

Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”

Have a good rest on the Lord’s Day – it was made for you. Jesus Christ is our Sabbath.

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For all who read and comment here, I just wanted to let you know that I’ll be taking the Lord’s Day off from blogging. Let’s all focus on worship and rest. We’ll get back to this hullabaloo on Monday.

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