Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Sabbath Giftedness

In response to my post "Sabbath: The Day and Way" a friend on Facebook said:

I love how you said Sabbath was not given to establish WHEN we worship. That's so true and I've been thinking about that a lot lately, because ever since I've taken on roles at Church as a teenager up until about a year ago, Sabbath has always been THE LEAST restful day of the week for me. After a stressful/hectic Sabbath morning, I'd spend all afternoon recovering from a migraine - there was never anything nice about Sabbath for me except for Mum's home-cooked Sabbath lunch! A year ago I got sick (am still recovering) and had to back off from all my commitments and all of a sudden, Sabbath became an amazing day and I saw it in a completely different way. I'm now trying to figure out how to be involved without losing the true meaning of Sabbath... One of the thoughts I had was, is it OK to keep Sabbath on Saturday, but attend Church on Sunday instead, since Sabbath wasn't given to establish WHEN we worship as a Church?

My Reply:
Over the past 5 years of not being a pastor, I have thought the same thing! I've come to two conclusions:

1. Sabbath is about rebuilding relationships. With God (worship/reimaging) and with mankind (talking/eating). This takes different forms for different people. Some people find no stress in leading worship, preaching, teaching, etc. Other people are drained by it. Whatever rebuilds relationships on Sabbath is what you should be doing. Religion has nothing to do with Sabbath. No church, denomination or faith owns the Sabbath. Sabbath was made for all mankind. To heal us. To reconnect us.

2. Spiritual Gifts are given by the same God who gave us the Sabbath. If using your spiritual gifts destroys your sabbath bliss (rest/blessed) one of the two is being wrongly applied. Try using your gifts on another day and let Sabbath serve God's original purpose. There are gifted organists, singers, preachers, teachers and others who participate in Sunday churches and rest on Sabbath. Imagine the joy it must bring Jesus when He sees us fulfilling His prayer for us in John 17:20-23.

Another thing I have learned is that God alone knows the heart. God alone judges rightly. Whenever we judge the actions of others (especially in spiritual matters!) we risk being judged ourselves because we do no know the heart. Trust God's leading. Go. Serve. Love. Live for Christ as one who willingly sacrifices self to serve others - in whatever way the Spirit leads you.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Sabbath: The Day and the Way

Biblically, in both OT and NT, it is quite clear that "Sabbath" refers to the 7th day of the week. Saturday. Most of us can count. :) But, Sabbath was not given to establish 'when' we worship but 'who' we worship and 'who' we are. To crown creation week, God shows up and visits with His image bearers. In Gen 1 and 2 there are two reasons presented for creation. 1: To remind us we are God's image bearers and Sabbath is the day of reimaging. 2: To remind us we are one as God is one - bonded in flesh and spirit with our spouse and God. Creation is about Identity and community. Sabbath is about 'who' God is. He's the Creator of all that is. Created in His image, we Sabbath to remember His creative power and be recreated by Him each week. Sabbath is also about 'who' God's people are. We are not human doings. We are human beings. Sabbath is a day for being in the presence of God. Resting in Him so He can set up shop once again within us. The ultimate definition of Sabbath was seen in the Sabbath 'keeping' of Jesus. God in the flesh dedicated the 7th day to worship and justice. He made a Sabbath habit of going to synagogue. He also made a Sabbath habit of healing the broken. Worship and Justice. He lived what He preached. The two greatest commandments, according to Jesus, were "Love God. Love each other." These ultimate commandments were most evident in His life on the Sabbath. So, when is the Sabbath? Day 7. What is the Sabbath? A day of worship and justice. Why Sabbath? Because you bear His image and it needs buffing up regularly!

Dear Dragonhordling,

I have been into the dragon's lair and dined with him. I believed for a time that his loot and his fire were my own. He's generous like that.

But then I saw the Knight in shining armour. He fought the dragon to claim rights to me. He won that battle, long ago. Now He rides in every day and checks to see who is peering out from under the dragon's wing - who might glimpse Him today. Daily, at sunrise, He calls to every dragonhordling, "Follow me." 

One day, I did. 

One day, I pray you will as well. 

Life with God is an epic tale but truer than any truth we may claim and name. We mere mortals barely glimpse His reality. But that glimpse is enough. 

"Follow me." He promises, "Life will never be the same." 

Follow Him and reality will be more than quirks and quarks. It will be imbued with meaning, purpose and freedom from the dragon's cave we once believed to be all that. 

Continue your quest. See you at Sonrise!



Dave Edgren ~ Story: Teller, Author, Trainer ~

BOOK DAVE NOW! Dave Edgren is passionate about creating a values-based storytelling culture. In his engaging and often hilarious way,...