What is the sabbath? A weekly day of rest and worship. A day to cease working and relax in God’s care for us. A day to stop doing the things that occupy our workdays and participate in activities that nurture peace, worship, relationships, celebration and thankfulness. The purpose of the sabbath is to clear away the distractions of our lives so we can rest in God and experience God’s grace in a new way.
The sabbath has been a great gift to me by slowing me down and inviting me to experience God’s rest—not just analyze it. Jesus said to his disciples, “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:28-29). I have received that gift of rest in Christ because of the sabbath.
The sabbath has enabled me to learn from Jesus, to take his gentle yoke on my shoulders rather than live in response to the world’s demands and my own unhealthy desires. Keeping a sabbath has taught me the deep truths of God’s love as much as any faith discipline I have observed as an adult. It has shaped my heart, opening me to receive God’s gifts more fully. The sabbath has inscribed God’s grace on my soul in a way I can barely describe.