Has anyone ever mastered the balance of work and leisure?
Is it actually even a thing?
Pray that the Church will embrace the authority of the Lord of the Sabbath.
One of the heaviest tensions between Jesus and the religious leaders of His day was around the Sabbath laws. In their mind, He was defiant to the entire principle of Sabbath. Interestingly though, He was actually the fulfillment of Sabbath. When the leaders accused His disciples of violating the Sabbath by plucking some grain, Jesus’ response to them was that “Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” It was not a religious practice as much as an invitation, but of what kind?
Some see Sabbath as a discipline to help us balance life, perhaps a time of leisure to recharge our batteries. Ben Franklin said that the best of all the medicines is resting and fasting. But does that really get at the invitation? In Jesus’ response to the religious leaders, He makes a point about David going into the Temple to unlawfully eat the bread of “the Presence.” He then states that “something greater than the temple is here.” The Temple was about God’s presence. And He was God. And He was there. Sabbath is an invitation to be with God.
Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following the same pattern of disobedience.
With Jesus present every day was Sabbath. For us, with the Holy Spirit present, every day is Sabbath. Hebrews 4 calls the day of rest “Today!” In other words: All day, every day is God time. If Jesus is healing, eating, sleeping, praying, speaking…that’s where we find Sabbath. Sabbath is not just the absence of work, it is the presence of God. Our role is not balancing work and leisure. That would put us in the driver’s seat of managing our lives, which doesn’t ever work. Sabbath is about releasing control of both labor and leisure and staying in tune with the Spirit. Hebrews 4 commands us to “strive to enter that rest.” We shouldn’t just strive to manage our time. We should strive to remain connected.
When He says “It is finished!” it does not mean that everything is done and there is nothing left to sort out. There is so much to do. But it does mean we don’t ever have to figure it out on our own. The invitation is to trust. The temple veil is torn and God is totally open for relationship, right now and always, no matter what. This is why Jesus ends the argument with the religious leaders by declaring that He is LORD OF THE SABBATH.
During a recent pastors group, one of the leaders related this concept to the movie “Finding Nemo” where Nemo rides the East Australian Current with the sea turtle. It may seem that there is far too much to do this week. But if we stay with the Lord, He will miraculously guide us with peace through our circumstances.
This month please join us in praying for:
- Christians and Church leaders to trust in the authority of the Lord of the Sabbath.
- Courage to push back the demands and seek God first.
- Peace to be a defining characteristic in the Church of our region as we allow the Presence of God through the Holy Spirit to lead us.
- A spiritual awakening to the Good News of true peace and rest in Christ to sweep across southeastern PA