Our church recently worked through a series of teachings on Sabbath. Far beyond a weekly holiday, this biblical concept is loaded with meaning, with each additional layer creating a rich tapestry of teaching that displays the love and goodness of God in fresh ways.
This series of blog posts will aim to capture some of the highlights of discovery along the way.
In clarifying the intent of the Sabbath commandment, perhaps Jesus offered no more definitive statement than his words in Mark 2. In one sentence, he expresses the extraordinary goodness of God as seen in the laws He lays down: “Man was not made for the Sabbath, but the Sabbath was made for man.”
Whenever I’m in need of a chuckle, I search for footage of the TV show “Wipeout”. Contestants trying to navigate the “big red balls” is a personal foolproof recipe for laughter. I imagine the backroom glee that the course designers must experience as they dream up obstacles and traps through which to push willing contestants. They aren’t setting out to create smooth, trouble-free “walks in the park”. They are looking to sabotage participants. Maximize slippery and surprising, minimize success – that’s the formula for great wipeouts. And the name of the show is no accident.
As fun as that job might be, God is nothing like a “Wipeout” designer. He has no interest in creating a system and then recruiting participants (victims) to fail their way through. He hasn’t set out to create unnecessary burdens, diversions, or challenges. Instead, He births children, each one bearing His divine image. Then He sets out to meet their every need! He custom-made us, then chose us as His own, then created guides for vibrant health and life.
If anything regarding Sabbath is to be perceived clearly, it is this: Sabbath is for us!
Sabbath is for us because God is for us, and every gift from His hand is for us.
Any understanding beyond that is misunderstanding.
- Have you typically considered Sabbath as a gift or as a burden?
- If you did view Sabbath as a gift, how might you “open it”?
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