Thanks to Cameron Andry for writing the questions this week!
These questions are meant to be a choose-your-own-adventure. That is, use what you like. Skip what you don’t. And add to it in any way you see fit.
- During your upbringing did your family have intentional rules or guidelines regarding Sabbath?
- Other than “snuggling naked” what else tops your list as favorite Sabbath activities?
- Is there any part of you that reacts with disgust when you consider the idea of taking a day off? Why?
The Creation Story
“Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.
2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.”
- God blesses three things during the creation story; the creatures (Genesis 1:22), people (Genesis 1:28), and the 7th day on which He rested. What connections do you think God saw between these three things?
A Breath of Fresh Air
8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
- Put yourself in the shoes of the Israelites at the time when Moses delivered the ten commandments, including the instructions from the passage above. The people hearing these words were 4th or 5th generation slaves. How would the command to refrain from all work once every seven days have made them feel?
- We live in a land of abundant freedom but in what ways are our lives similar to the Israelites? Do we have our versions of slavery that keep us from practicing Sabbath?
Delight and Find Joy
13 “If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath
and from doing as you please on my holy day,
if you call the Sabbath a delight
and the Lord’s holy day honorable,
and if you honor it by not going your own way
and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,
14 then you will find your joy in the Lord,
and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land
and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.”
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.
- God uses “if this, then that” in the above passage. What would it look like for you to delight in the Sabbath and honor the Lord’s holy day?
Jeremy mentioned three obstacles that often keep us from truly embracing the practice of Sabbath; pride, distraction, and fear.
- Which of the three obstacles above do you feel most often keeps you from practicing Sabbath?
- If you were to commit to practicing the Sabbath this week, where would you have to begin? Think practically. What are the logistical obstacles you/your family face when considering a day of rest? How many of those obstacles can you actually choose to minimize or eliminate?
“There have to be times when you sink into the comforts of home and become human again rather than using home as a hotel or fast-foot restaurant; times when you light a candle and find the place inside you that loves and then pray out of that place. There have to be times when you let yourself feel, when you let tears come rather than blinking them back because you don’t have time to cry. There have to be times to be the creature – softer, more vulnerable and more human – rather than always being tough, defended and in control. There have to be times to sit with your gratitude for the good fits in your life that get forgotten in the rush… There have to be times to sit and wait for the fullness of God that replenishes body, mind, and soul – if you can even stand to be so full. There has to be time for the fullness of time, or time is meaningless.”
-Ruth Haley Barton