Good Morning Everyone,
Our theme for this month: “Sabbath Rest”
Our Bible verse for today: “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” Mark 6:31 (NIV)
Our thought for today: “There’s a difference between Sabbath-worship and Sabbath-rest”.
The clearest and best distinction I have ever seen between Sabbath-worship and Sabbath-rest comes from my friend Bud Lenz. For over twenty years Bud and his wife Laura have operated the El Arca Children’s Home in the Andes Mountains and now in the Amazon Jungle of Peru. Today the El Arca compound consists of 110 acres on the edge of the Amazon Rainforest near the Bolivian border. Bud and Laura provide a safe and loving Christian home for orphaned, abandoned, and abused Peruvian children. For over twenty years Bud and Laura have been “Papa” and “Mamma” to more than 100 children.
Life in the Jungle is hard. The days begin early, well before the sun comes up. Everyone has chores to do from feeding the animals, to cleaning the buildings, to preparing and serving breakfast. Then it’s off to school for the younger children and off to work on the land for the older teens and adults. In the evening there are more chores, family time, and an early bedtime.
Saturday is the day for Sabbath-rest. Everyone sleeps late and then has a light breakfast. The day then consists of lots of personal time for prayer, reading, wandering on Jungle trails, or maybe sitting by the river. There’s plenty of time for lounging in the family room, playing games, lying in your bunk listening to music, or any other relaxing activity you care to engage in. It’s a deeply restful, relaxing, and enjoyable time spent with the Lord and with your brothers and sisters. This is Sabbath-rest. It is renewing, rejuvenating, relaxing, and enjoyable. There’s no schedule; there are no expectations; just rest.
Sunday is the day for Sabbath-worship in the family room. This is the day to gather for worship, sing songs, study God’s Word together, share testimonies, and perhaps share the Lord’s Supper. It’s not that they don’t sing songs, share testimonies, study the Bible, and engage in acts of worship (both individual and corporate) on other days of the week, but Sunday morning is the designated time for group Sabbath-worship. Together Saturday and Sunday provide a full weekly experience of Sabbath-keeping. You get Sabbath-rest, and you get Sabbath-worship.
I always enjoy Sabbath-keeping at El Arca and I’m getting better at implementing this structure here at home. Sunday is my time for Sabbath-worship, and Monday is my time for Sabbath-rest.
How about you? Are you fully experiencing Sabbath-keeping? I’ll bet you’re pretty faithful at Sabbath-worship, but how about Sabbath-rest? In your case your worship and resting may need to occur on the same day, but I encourage you to make sure you don’t neglect the resting part of the Sabbath.