July 12, 2007

Taking a Break

Hebrews 4:1-11

"Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy." Exodus 20:8


Whether we're young, middle aged, or retired, most of us are busy people. Even if we're not very active, the pace of life around us often feels frantic.

God knows our tendency to be distracted by work, stress, and worries that often take over our lives. His intent in the fourth commandment is that we set time aside regularly to rest from the busyness of life and spend it in fellowship with God and others.

So how does this work relationally? Some of us may think we'd be happy to work seven days a week. But never-ending work would slowly shape and change us in ways that displease God and diminish our own humanity. Without giving our bodies and minds the break God intended, and without using that break to spend time with God and others, we become less of what God had in mind for us. Increasingly we become shaped by "busyness" and not by relationships.

Our weekly Sabbath-keeping anticipates what the Bible calls "eternal rest." Eternal rest is not a matter of perpetual laziness. It's about being in tune with God and what God has planned for us. As we live out our days on this earth, it means taking deliberate steps to guard one day a week to refocus on what God intends for us and to become realigned with the rhythm of life God created us for.

Lord, we are busy people. Sometimes we love it, and other times we hate it. Help us to understand the Sabbath you intend for us; teach us when and how to rest. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Henry Kranenburg

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