My journey this year is about learning to live awake.
I have noticed that in order to function well during the day it is vital that I get the necessary sleep and rest my body requires.
The same spiritual principle applies.
In order to live fully awake in Christ I must take care to obey and reap the benefit of sabbath rest!
Through my time of daily examen on Sunday evenings God has revealed how easy it is for me to be so swept away in "church ministry" that I can completely miss the heart of Sabbath.
If you preach, teach, greet, usher, help in children's ministry, lead music or are responsible for the Sunday potluck ... you will certainly know what I mean.
How many times have we been so busy with "God's work," that we have completely neglected the very One we came to worship and serve?
I resent my alarm most Sunday mornings. I have also been known to fail to hold my tongue if there is no hot water left in the shower or if I feel Ken rushes me to get out the door and I still can't decide what to wear to church.
Sadly, I can walk through the parking lot, enter the doors of church, rehearse with the worship team, review the service details with the choir ... and still some weeks completely forget to acknowledge God in his house!
No wonder I struggle to keep the sabbath holy!
My practise now on Sunday mornings, before my feet hit the floor, is that I pause for a few moments to embrace and give God thanks for the sabbath.
"Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work; but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God..." Exodus 20:8
God calls us to remember the sabbath day.
To remember, to ponder, to be attentive.
We are called to pause.
To intentionally turn our minds, our heart, our thoughts to Him and to set this day apart for holiness.
The Sabbath is not so much about a particular day of the week.
The Sabbath is also more than just a day, it is a frame of mind and heart.
"The sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath, so the Son of man is lord even of the sabbath." Mark 2:27
The sabbath was made for us. A precious gift for you and me.
If you have missed the Sabbath today ... it is not too late.
I would love if you would join me and take a few quiet moments together to remember the sabbath.
Take a few deep breaths.
Inhale through your nose (over the count of three) and then exhale slowly through your mouth (again counting to three).
Ask God to still and quiet your mind.
Take time to prayerfully read and ponder the following statements that call us to remember.
The sabbath belongs to God.
Thank you, that you are Lord of the Sabbath.
This day belongs to you.
The sabbath was made for man.
Thank you that you made this day with us in mind. That the sabbath was made as a gift for us.
Lord, you are holy.
Your sabbath day is holy.
Thank you for making us your holy people. Help us to be holy, set apart for you.
"God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all his work which he had done in creation." Genesis 2:3
Thank you for blessing this day and making it holy.
Thank you for all that you have created, including this day set apart for you.
Thank you that we are made in your image.
Thank you for the gift to create and work.
Thank you for the gift of rest on the sabbath.
What have you created and worked on this week?
As you gaze and ponder on what you have created this past week, give God thanks for his goodness to be a part of his kingdom work.
Who has been lord over your sabbath? Was it God or you?
Take some time to pray and ask God to reveal what concerns, thoughts or activities distract you from remembering the sabbath or from keeping this day holy and set apart for Him.
Ask God for forgiveness, giving thanks that He is faithful to extend his mercy and grace. Seek his help to remember the sabbath and to keep it holy.
Now go and rest in Him.
To answer God's call to remember the sabbath is an act of worship to the Lord. As we worship him in remembrance not only do we bring Him honour, but we will also come away renewed and transformed.
To live awake in Christ is learning how to rest in Him!
Thank you my dear friends for taking the time to stop by and make this castle your home!