Monday, July 16, 2007

The Sabbath Principle

First things first. The Woodward Park softball team completed the regular season undefeated and marchs into the post-season tourney as the #1 seed. Our first game in the post-season tourney will be on Friday, July 27 at 7:00 p.m. against Clovis Hills.

Mark your calendars!


On the heels of the weekend, let me ask you a question. Be honest with yourself as you answer it.

Do you honor the principle of the Sabbath in your life?

Of the Ten Commandments listed in Exodus 20, I would submit the principle of the Sabbath is the most often abused by sincere believers. In our industrious era when a work ethic that is borderline unhealthy is applauded and admired, it is easy to allow the principle of the Sabbath to slip past our priorities.

But the principle of the Sabbath is very real and very required for healthy disciples of Jesus.

In Genesis 2.1-3, on the heels of exercising his genius in creating the world, God took a break. He called for a rest day and programmed that rest day into the framework of human life, even before the giving of the Commandments.

For example, in Exodus 16.27-30, God takes some of the Israelites to task for attempting to gather manna on the seventh day. Before the Sabbath was ever commanded as a 24-hour period of rest, it was expected by God of his children.

The principle of the Sabbath was put in place by God to allow his children to experience a 24-hour period in every week to rest, relax, renew and reorient without feeling guilty. In our production-based society, we sometimes feel a tinge of guilt when we are "unproductive." But the principle of the Sabbath reminds me that in the eyes of God, at least one day a week, the most productive thing I can do is rest.

Sabbath is not just rest for rest's sake; it is rest for the sake of renewal. That is why the day was marked as "holy" -- as a day set aside and separate from the other six days when a person can devote some time during the period of rest to refocus on the eternal.

Today, if you are burned out and stressed out, make a date on your calendar to Sabbath -- to take a break one day this week to rest and renew yourself as a child of God.