Watch our new video called The Rest of God: Gospel and Sabbath, produced by Lucas Burton:
Words by Sam Robins
The novelty of life from home wore off by the second weekend. Saturday and Sunday were such a letdown; they were the same as Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. No matter the day of the week, in a lockdown, I’m still just at home, seeing the same people, with the exact same options of what to do. Suddenly I’m deeply feeling the need for a special day of the week.
In the past, Sundays have actually been a bit different for me, but not intentionally so. They kind of served as my “backup” day, a chance to complete all my unfinished tasks. But now that life’s all the same? I need to be able to look forward to something each week.
So I’ve been sabbathing. Saturday night I pack up my textbooks, hide my to-do list, and power down my computer. Sunday morning is a chance to sleep in, perhaps go for a morning walk before online church with my housemate. We leisurely make a soup or salad together, sharing it over homemade bread. We just talk, lingering at the table. The afternoon is a chance to do the things I like: reading, biking, walking. Sometimes I’ll hang out (suitably physically distanced, of course) with a friend if we’ve already made arrangements, but I try not to make plans the day of.
This is a day of “getting to” do, rather than “having to” do things.
This is a day of remembering the God who rested after his own work. Remembering the God who rescued slaves and gave them rest from their labour. And also the tragedy of how humans so often choose to exile themselves from that rest.
This is a day of reasserting the hope that Jesus is eager to give us back God’s rest as we follow him. And this is a day of remembering that the rest I experience now – whether on an official day of Sabbath or any other – is actually only a taste of the true rest that is to come.
I love efficiency. I hate even a moment’s pause. But on the Sabbath? This is a day of purposeful inefficiency. The Sabbath helps me remember that productivity is not my saviour; Jesus is. I can talk all I want about surrendering control of my life to him, but until I actually let my weekly rhythms be shaped by God’s design , I haven’t actually fully set my trust in him. Taking a whole day to rest is a tangible way of trusting God. And it is also really good. My plan is to continue to honour the God of rest by sabbathing weekly, long after this pandemic is over.
Until then, let’s learn about what it means to know the rest of God; check out this short video to explore more.