Today Pastor Elizabeth is looking at Hebrews 4 and taking a minute to reflect on Sabbath.
(find the devotion by clicking the 'read more' option below)
“A sabbath rest still remains for the people of God; for those who enter God’s rest also
cease from their labors as God did from God’s. Let us therefore make every effort to
enter that rest.”
Sabbath. Rest. A break from labors and responsibility. Intentional time to connect with the
Divine in this world.
When I started my first year of pastoring, I knew Sabbath was something I had to work on.
Before becoming a pastor, I was a student, paying my own way through grad school. Rest was
not in my vocabulary. If I wasn’t at school, I was at work. If I wasn’t at work, I was at school. I
planned worship. Wrote papers. Skimmed readings. Transcribed interviews. Sometimes my only moments of “rest” came during my commutes. That short amount of time spent in Ubers or on buses and trains were sometimes the only moments I let my responsibilities slip away. The rest of the time I was just always in motion—so much so that a classmate not so nicely described me as a “tornado” just blowing in and out and around without ever really touching the ground.
Needless to say. Sabbath and rest were one of my top priorities when I entered ministry. At
least one day a week, I try to do nothing work related. It doesn’t always work out. But, hey,
Sabbath is a practice. Ironically, it takes a little work to make it work.
But Sabbath is a necessary practice. It’s a needed practice. We’re reminded again and again in
our Scriptures about rest. In the scripture from Hebrews above, we’re reminded that even God
rested. God, the creator of all, took time to rest. Rest is important, because it’s in our resting
that we can connect with God on a deeper level. The everyday busy work we have can act as a
distraction. We can easily ignore God’s presence, if we don’t take the time to feel God with us.
And if we ignore God’s presence, soon we can feel disconnected, drained, unable to offer
But taking a Sabbath, that intentional time to rest and to be with God, can fill us up. Help us
face the day to day challenges that may come our way. It helps us to touch down to the ground, and be reminded that we are firmly standing on God, our rock. Or, to mix metaphors, we’re firmly rooted in God, our nurturing source. And being reminded of this strengthens us, sustains us, and feeds us.
So, as you enter into the next week, I invite you to think about ways that you can rest. Can you
spare a whole day and just do something you enjoy? Or can you spare a few hours to sit and
read a book for fun? Maybe you paint? Or go for a hike? maybe you sit down and read
scripture? Or you carve out time to meditate or pray? What can you do to find rest? And once
you find rest, how can you better connect with God?
I hope that whatever this week has in store for you, that you are able to find time to rest and
reconnect with God. Live into the practice of Sabbath. And remember, we are created for
Sabbath. We are created to rest and connect with God.