If you didn't get the word, due to the weather forecast for tomorrow morning, we have cancelled the Transformation Network Service that was scheduled on the Marietta Square. In addition, we will not be gathering tomorrow evening for our Sojourn gathering. I know it may feel weird that we aren't gathering as a community tomorrow night. You may feel naked, not knowing what to do with your Sunday. I want to invite each of you to make tomorrow a Sabbath.
The Sabbath was given to us to be a gift and a tool. In Jesus, we don't need to obey it like a law. It isn't a master, but instead it is an instrument that we can use to lead us to joy in Christ.
There are four ingredients to help make a Sabbath fruitful. I will briefly lay them out:
A Sabbath must begin with ceasing from work. You and I naturally define ourselves by what we do, vocationally or bi-vocationally. To stop is to remind yourself, I am not in control. Jesus upholds all things together (Colossians 1:17). If He upholds it all, then I can take a day and Stop. That means you need to tell your gmail or outlook that during this time they will survive just fine without you checking in on them every 20 minutes.
To rest is to make the choice to slow down. Like each of these ingredients, I must choose to intentionality rest. I must choose to rest my anxious mind. I must choose to rest my habits to perform. I must choose to rest my tendency to define myself by what I do.
The joy of the sabbath is that it is a tool to bring you life and joy. So I must ask, What brings life to you? Do it! What makes your heart full? Seek to make it happen during the Sabbath. If you have kids, get creative!
I have heard it said that a day off is a bastard Sabbath. The point of a Sabbath isn't solely to stop working, but to connect with Jesus. You can do this on a hike in prayer or on your couch while meditating on a verse in the Psalms. Intentionally connect your heart with Jesus, the one who holds all things together, the one who gave his life so that we can forever find abundant life and rest in Him.
If you are a Sabbath pro, make tomorrow a Sabbath. If this is new for you, give it a try. If you mess up and check your email, don't get mad at yourself. Press delete and keep rolling! Here is a sermon I preached this Spring on Sabbath if it helps.