Be still, and know that I am God!
I am exalted among the nations,
I am exalted in the earth.
When most of us think of the commandment to keep the sabbath, we get caught up on setting aside Sunday as a holy day focused on God. There are certainly implications for our ancestors in the Old Testament, but let’s focus on what “keeping the sabbath” in our modern lives might look like.
Sabbath as a spiritual practice for Christians is about setting aside time in our busy lives to focus on God. It also means finding a balance between work and rest. It is less about focus on a day of the week and more about blocks of time where we can be refreshed as children of God. Times where we can re-center ourselves and recognize our relationship with our Creator and the world around us.
In his book, Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight in Our Busy Lives, Wayne Muller writes,
Sabbath requires surrender. If we only stop when we are finished with all our work, we will never stop – because our work is never completely done. With every accomplishment there arises a new responsibility. Every swept floor invites another sweeping, every child bathed invites another bathing. When all life moves in such cycles, what is ever finished? The sun goes round, the moon goes round, the tides and seasons go round, people are born and die, and when are we finished? If we refuse to rest until we are finished, we will never rest until we die.
In sabbath, we are reminded to stop and be still. We pause and recognize that God is in control and take a deep breath in that freedom. Refuse to be buried in the mountain of “to-dos.” Take the time to be refreshed. Accept that you cannot finish it all and that is ok. Know that God is the source of all that is good in our world and take time to be grateful.
Creator God, we rejoice as we think about Your role in creating our world and continued role in our lives. We know that You rested and set that as an example for us. Help us to take time in our busy lives to stop, to put You first, and to celebrate Your goodness in our life. Amen.