Friday, July 10, 2009

Sabbath

So I've been trying to write this post for almost a year. And the short of it is, we all need a Sabbath. A while back (maybe last October?) Kevin and I noticed that I was not okay. I was hanging on, but something wasn't sitting right, and it underscored everything. Sure, there was busy and full and stress and whatnot, but still. When you're off, you're off. And then I had to go grocery shopping one Sunday morning and Kevin sniffed it out. So we talked about my time and how I used it and then Kevin lovingly brought up Sundays. Now, he's a pastor and church is at 4pm so it's a full work day for him and the "family time" many enjoy after morning church is not available for us. I guess I had just written off the day as a "work" day for me too, but going to the grocery store or cleaning the house served neither him nor me (or the kids, for that matter). He gently but clearly pointed out the need for a Sabbath and that I was to take one no matter his vocation. His work was preaching the sermon, mine was preparing to hear one. To not do so is to be in sin. And if sin is anything apart from God's revealed will, well, I sure was in it, because God had made pretty clear His will for me here. [See Exodus 20:8-11 or Deuteronomy 5:12-15]

Here's what did it for me:
the Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter 21, sections 7 &8.

VII. As it is the law of nature, that, in general, a due proportion of time be set apart for the worship of God; so, in his Word, by a positive, moral, and perpetual commandment binding all men in all ages, he hath particularly appointed one day in seven, for a sabbath, to be kept holy unto him: which, from the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ, was the last day of the week; and, from the resurrection of Christ, was changed into the first day of the week, which in Scripture, is called the Lord's day, and is to be continued to the end of the world, as the Christian sabbath.

VIII. This sabbath is then kept holy unto the Lord, when men, after a due preparing of their hearts, and ordering of their common affairs beforehand, do not only observe an holy rest, all the day, from their own works, words, and thoughts about their worldly employments and recreations, but also are taken up, the whole time, in the public and private exercises of his worship, and in the duties of necessity and mercy. (emphasis mine)

Doesn't that sound like good news? I really wanted to day described above - sounded almost too good to be true. So I moved it all to 6 days a week, and if it didn't get done - so be it. The girls only got a Veggie Tales movie (not just silly songs - something substantive), we spent more time enjoying each other, and Sydney and I now do the catechism every week. Sometimes with Savannah, sometimes when she's sleeping. Each week we do a question (or two - if they're related) and she has a special composition pad where we write out the question and answer (or whatever she's thinking) and she draws a picture to illustrate the concept. It's one of my favorite times of the week. And the name of this glorious collection of artwork? "The God Jesus Holy Spirit Book" - her idea. :)

And everything else around me, though the same, was drastically different.

Turns out, I could do more than I thought throughout the week, and the true rest that comes on Sunday just fills me up to do it again. I used to take a Sabbath, but somewhere along the way I lost it. I guess that's why we are to "remember" it, and to "keep" it holy. The Sabbath rest is so necessary for my daily life now, it's hard to imagine I'll go that long without again. But just in case, I'm going to keep remembering it, and reminding myself the true purpose of the Lord's day.

So there it is, my post on the Sabbath. I thought I'd have some big grand ideas to share, or some major insight after all this time, but it turns out the best learning on this subject comes from the doing. Won't you join me this Sunday and leave your laundry on the floor, your dishes in the sink, and run to the lap of your Maker and your God? I'll see you there.

2 comments:

Tommy said...

Yep, it's a mandated day off for a reason! Good reminder here in your thoughts.

Drew and Suzy said...

SO encouraging, Liz! Thanks for sharing and reminding us all to "remember" and "keep", too!