Friday, March 16, 2007

A Day of Rest?

A friend in Hong Kong has been gently encouraging me, mostly by example, to think more carefully about the Sabbath. I think it's a good idea.

When I was little, I didn't at all like the idea of Sunday being a special kind of day. This meant that I had to miss my hockey or baseball games, and that felt like a pretty big sacrifice. I clearly remember missing out on a significant ball game, telling my coaches "I had to go to church", and them telling me to pray for victory while I was there! So I sat and listened at church, all the while daydreaming of diving for groundballs. Later on, I made my own choices and usually ended up going to my games. In high school, university and now as a teacher, my strong tendency toward procrastination usually finds me up late on a Sunday night, pounding the keys for an assignment due the next day, or tying up odds and ends for a lesson the next day. This has been the routine for many years now.

I haven't even really put much thought into setting apart a day for God. How about you? What are your thoughts on observing the Sabbath? I'd love to hear from some of you on how you approach this.

I started to do some reading on it, and I found a sermon by John Piper to be a good starting point. Here are some of the highlights:
-The Sabbath is a reminder that blessing comes from God's grace, not my labor. (HEY! That really hits home for me. I need this reminder, big time...we cannot sustain, or sanctify ourselves on our own)
-We often understand the Sabbath as a burden, when it is a gift. God promises that He will meet all of our needs in 6 days.
-The purpose is for us to find delight in the Lord.
-Our hearts are set more on the pleasures we find in the world than on enjoying God and being in His presence.

Anyway, what do you think? How does this play out practically in your life? Relevant?

1 comment:

deb said...

SOOO relevant. Especially since it's just after 12 on a Saturday night, and I have left all my planning and marking till tomorrow!...
But I love the Piper comment about God wanting to "give" (paraphrase) to us.
Will write more coherent thoughts another time :)