The show today is a flashback to one of the most watched sessions of the 2022 church Mental health summit with Rich Villodas
Rich is a Pastor at New Life Fellowship in New York and the Author of two books The Deeply Formed Life, and Good and Beautiful and Kind, where he offers a compelling vision of wholeness for broken lives and a fractured world.
At the 2022 Church Mental Health Summit Rich spoke on the Sabbath I received so much from his talk.
I think we are well aware of the need for rest. But if you are anything like me you struggle to take rest. Most of the time rest is harder the completing a few more things off the to-do list.
The region that I live in has a large population of churches that adhere to a lot of rules around behavior.
And growing up with friends at school and in different activities, I remember hearing about these rules especially the ones about Sabbath for example weddings would often happen on Friday nights because you couldn’t drink on the Sabbath. Saturdays were often reserved for meal prep for the next day and household chores because you couldn’t cook or clean on the Sabbath.
There were some friends that I couldn’t hang out with because Sundays were for resting and attending church (morning and evening).
As an outsider, there were so many rules that I struggled to keep up, I rolled my eyes and wondered how they could tolerate such restrictions.
As an outsider, these seem like so many rules but as a Mom and adult now I look at that and I can see how beneficial the forced rest would be because let’s be honest in my household Sundays are almost synonymous with laundry and it would be wonderful to have a whole day off from cooking.
For most of my life, Sundays are for church in the morning and then catching up with my to-do list.
But Rich’s talk has challenged me to see that neither option is correct.
WHAT IS THE SABBATH?
Sabbath isn’t about strict rules to follow or fear judgment. Nor is it a day to hustle and get stuff done.
Sabbath is a gift from God. A 24-hour period without any have-to’s, without and shoulds where the result is rest and over time deep renewal.
When I heard Rich say these words I craved them. And though how good is our God.
We do not have to wait for the red flags of burnout to wave. We don’t have to earn rest. We don’t have to feel pressure to adhere to rules or to feel shame that we didn’t complete the to-do list. But we are called to rest, just as we are, and be renewed.
I hope that you are challenged to step out of the hustle culture and find rest.
Work never seems to come to an end from replying to emails to washing dishes to taking care of your family, we live in a society that doesn’t know how to stop.
It doesn’t have space, rhythm, or margin yet we need that to do the work God has called us to do and Sabbath keeping is a wonderful practice to help us live this way.
THE TWO RHYTHMS OF THE SABBATH
These are the Sacred and Secular rhythms.
Secular rhythm compromises work, work, and vacation yet we need something more like resting and working which is what we call the Sacred rhythm and God has given this to us.
God knew that we cannot keep going and He has given us time for us to find rest and renewal called the Sabbath.
At the core of it, Sabbath is a spiritual formation practice that roots us in a deep posture of rest.
SABBATH IN THE BIBLE
The Bible highlights Sabbath in two prominent places which are Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5.
In Exodus 20, God gives us the command with the idea to rest because He rested and in Deuteronomy 5 there is a new generation and God has to give the commands to them and this time it is not rooted in imitation but in liberation. He says you are no longer slaves, you can rest.
These two incidences show that Sabbath is given for imitation and liberation.
WHAT THE SCRIPTURE TEACHES US ABOUT SABBATH
The Scripture teaches us that Sabbath should comprise the following:
It is an opportunity to stop what we constitute as work and indulge in rest.
We need to know what brings us rest or self-care and take time intentionally for it.
The older we become the more we delight in things that bring us joy and we can get to do them during the Sabbath.
The Sabbath is also a day for contemplation or a day of worship because at the end of it all we should give gratitude to God.
FIVE TRUTHS ABOUT SABBATH
- Sabbath is not a reward for hard work.
We should not only rest when exhausted because Sabbath is a gift that we should use.
- Sabbath is a reminder that our work will remain incomplete
We should live with a sense of humility and live present in the moment because we shall all eventually die and leave this world.
- Sabbath is a day that moves us from production to presence
It reminds us that we are called to present to God, ourselves, and our neighbors so we should always take time off our work.
- Sabbath reminds us that we are not God
No one is indisposable and God is in charge therefore finding time to honor Him is important.
- Sabbath points us to the deeper rest we need in God
Every time we take Sabbath we are reminded of the sole rest we need in Christ not what we accomplish.
Sabbath is a gift we desperately need and hopefully we can get curious about learning how to honor Sabbath for rest and renewal.
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