In the New Testament, the theme of Sabbath as a source of freedom and renewal finds expression in the passages that describe Jesus’ teachings on Sabbath. Clearly, he is an observant Jew and goes to the synagogue on the Sabbath. But he also teaches that rigid legalism is contrary to God’s intention, saying, “The Sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27).
Sabbath keeping is not something we do in order to please God; it is something we do because God knows it will make us whole, restore our spirits, and renew our lives. It may help to be reminded that Sabbath keeping was not only about a day of the week. It was a principle in the ordering of time itself, extending outward to the seventh year, when debts were to be forgiven and the land allowed to rest. It extended even further to the jubilee, or 50th year, when all people were to be freed and ancestral land holdings were to be restored.
Presbyterian Pastor, Kris Haig states in a Presbyterian Outlook article that “Perhaps most importantly, the Scriptures teach us that Sabbath keeping is a community practice and not simply a matter of personal piety. The cultural forces of our time would have us believe that our happiness lies in a lifestyle of constant work and “productivity,” punctuated by frequent binges of shopping.” The Bible says otherwise: that our true happiness comes only from God and with God. Therefore, let us as faith communities pledge to support one another in our commitment to “remember the Sabbath” and to rest in our Savior who is himself the Lord of the Sabbath.
With this in mind, let me invite you to join your church family for weekly worship on Sunday morning at 10:00 am – a time of sabbath of worship and rest!!! Summer shouldn’t mean a break from gathering with this community, but an opportunity to praise a God who invites us to rest weekly, so that we might faithfully serve beyond the Sabbath. I hope to see you on Sunday mornings during July and August!