Posts by CarolO

Rest and Be Thankful

Rest and Be Thankful

By on Mar 15, 2014 in Blog | 1 comment

On our many holidays to Scotland we have often stopped at Rest and Be Thankful (pictured). It’s a place to pause, draw breath and enjoy the view from the summit between Loch Long and Loch Fyne. During the Christmas break I was drawn to thinking about rest and the Sabbath:  What does it mean?  What does it looks like in 21st Century western culture?  Is it even relevant? What do we mean by the Sabbath? In biblical times, keeping the Sabbath was the first commandment with detailed requirements (Deut 5:12-15, Ex 20:9-10).  It was a day to cease from work and to remember; in particular for the Israelites to remember how the Lord had delivered them from slavery in Egypt.  However when Jesus came, he redefined the ordinances surrounding the Sabbath (Mark 2:27-28; Luke 13:10-17; 14:1-6). In the Mark passage, Jesus responds to the Pharisees “The Sabbath was made for man not man for the Sabbath”. Jesus had the authority to override the rules concerning the Sabbath which had become so burdensome.  Jesus emphasised that the God given purpose of the Sabbath was a day intended for man, for spiritual, mental and physical restoration (Ex 20:8-11).  To regularly cease from work and enjoy its results. Because of Christ, there should then be a return to the creational mandate which is a commemoration of God’s creative rest (Gen 2:1-3). At creation, God could rest, sit back and survey all that he had done, because He was in control.  He didn’t have to rest but he did, setting an example for us.  The crux of the matter here is can we trust God enough to take a day off from working? We are all called to work, and to give it our best, but we are also called to rest.  So why is it so difficult to inject the Sabbath into our weekly routine of work and life?  We have been created for rest yet often we don’t manage to fit it into our rhythm of life.  The Israelite calendar had times for feasting and fasting but in our 21st century western culture our lives are getting more and more rhythmless.  For many, Sunday is another working day.  Even for those not...

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