Rest as Imitation
“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 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. 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.
- Exodus 20:8-11 (from The Giving of the Ten Commandments)
Why do we seek to rest? Why do we value a spiritual discipline like “a sabbath day?”
We have deeper reasons than the practical ones: healthy rest allows you to work harder, rest can be a lot of fun, a day off of work gives you the freedom to do stuff that doesn’t generate income. And we have deeper reasons than the historical ones: a lot of stuff always closes on the weekend, a lot of employers have a tradition of giving a day or two off every week, schools have always built time off into their calendars.
Our reasons reach back to the ground of creation and the dawn of time.
When the Lord gave his people instructions to help them order a healthy and free society, he gave them this commandment: Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Set this day apart every week. Weave the value of rest into your society. Imitate the one who created everything.
Rest is as foundational to the creation as the sky or the birds or the trees or the foundations of the earth. Abandoning it causes as much chaos as freely allowing murder or theft. Do you believe this?
What’s been your experience with sabbath? What challenges appear when you try to take a full 24 hours off? How do you think your soul might benefit from a sabbath day?