Sabbath Heart “When I say Sabbath, I also mean an attitude. It is a perspective, an orientation. I mean a Sabbath heart, not just a Sabbath day. A Sabbath heart is restful even in the midst of unrest and upheaval. It is attentive to the presence of God and others even in the welter of much coming and going, rising and falling. It is still and knows God even when mountains fall into the sea. You will never enter the Sabbath day without a Sabbath heart.” (Mark Buchanan)
The Other Six Days Sabbath is a day of rest, but it doesn’t make any sense to rest completely on the seventh day while being a workaholic on the other six days. “The test of whether we have genuinely practiced the Sabbath will come in the middle of our working week, as we are building, teaching, healing, cooking.” (Norman Wirzba)
The Other Six Days Our culture expects us to work constantly ......
The Other Six Days ...... and we tend to declare we’re “busy,” almost as a boast of how much we can do; while stillness and rest are considered laziness.
Busyness The Chinese word for “busyness” combines “heart” and “dead”: heart dead (Ecclesiastes 2:22-23 ESV) What has a man from all the toil and striving of heart with which he toils beneath the sun? For all his days are full of sorrow, and his work is a vexation. Even in the night his heart does not rest. This also is vanity.
Busyness = Dead Heart Q: How does busyness kill our hearts? A test of whether your busyness has caused a “dead heart” is to ask yourself: How much do I care about the things I should care about? (Luke 10:40-42 ESV) But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
Busyness = Dead Heart Examples our busyness stops us from caring: Busy with housework... but do you care about relationship with your family? Doing church “ministry”... but do you care about the people, about the lost, about God? Hear bad news among others... is your ﬁrst thought: I’m glad it doesn’t happen to me? Q: Can you think of other examples? Next time you’re tempted to casually declare: “I am busy!”, instead, think of yourself as trying to say: “My heart is dying!”
Busyness = False Trust Busyness also cause us to believe in falsehoods. False sense of identity: assessing people by what you do (“What do you do?”) False sense of self-worth: measuring your value by your accomplishments and achievements False sense of success: pursuing efﬁciency, effectiveness, and productivity
Busyness = False Trust “The worst hallucination busyness conjures is the conviction that I am God. All depends on me.” (Mark Buchanan) (Psalm 44:5-6 ESV) Through you we push down our foes; through your name we tread down those who rise up against us. For not in my bow do I trust, nor can my sword save me. (Psalm 62:1-2 ESV) For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.
Busyness = False Trust “Real Sabbath, the kind that empties and ﬁlls us, depends on …... complete conﬁdence and trust. And conﬁdence and trust like that are rooted in a deep conviction that God is good and God is sovereign. There’s no rest for those who don’t believe that. …… Either God’s always at work, watching the city, building the house, or you need to try harder. Either God is good and in control, or it all depends on you.” (Mark Buchanan)
Two Perspectives(Exodus 20:8-10a ESV) (Deuteronomy 5:12-14aRemember the Sabbath ESV) Observe theday, to keep it holy. Six Sabbath day, to keep itdays you shall labor, holy, as the LORD yourand do all your work, God commanded you.but the seventh day is a Six days you shall laborSabbath to the LORD and do all your work,your God. but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God.
Two Perspectives(Exodus 20:10b ESV) On (Deuteronomy 5:14b ESV)it you shall not do any On it you shall not do anywork, you, or your son, work, you or your son oror your daughter, your your daughter or yourmale servant, or your male servant or your female servant, or yourfemale servant, or your ox or your donkey or anylivestock, or the of your livestock, or thesojourner who is within sojourner who is withinyour gates. your gates, that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you.
Two Perspectives(Exodus 20:11 ESV) For (Deuteronomy 5:15 ESV)in six days the LORD You shall remember thatmade heaven and earth, you were a slave in thethe sea, and all that is in land of Egypt, and thethem, and rested on the LORD your God broughtseventh day. Therefore you out from there withthe LORD blessed the a mighty hand and anSabbath day and made outstretched arm.it holy. Therefore the LORD your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day.
Two Perspectives Two different reasons/perspectives on keeping Sabbath, because: 1. God, the Creator, rested on the seventh day 2. God, the Deliverer, freed us from slavery
1. Sabbath as creation rhythm (Genesis 2:2-3 NKJV) And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctiﬁed it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made. God does not rest because He was tired, but because He’s satisﬁed with His work -- the creation is so good that nothing is left to do. Sabbath is a source of blessing. Sabbath is “holy,” namely, a day set apart to focus on God and what He’s done.
1. Sabbath as creation rhythm So blessings are not found in human labor and achievements, but in God’s ﬁnished work. Q: How can we adjust our mindset to ﬁnd blessing in God’s prescribed rest? “The world in which we live has been created by God and that we ourselves have been created in the image of God. Our bodies move to a rhythm of work and rest that follows the rhythm originally strummed by God on the waters of creation. As God worked, so shall we; as God rested, so shall we.” (Dorothy Bass)
1. Sabbath as creation rhythm We can only rest if we stop trying to be God. Sabbath keeping makes us realize we have been trying too hard to do everything on our own without trusting God to guide our future. “To rest means to let go and trust He knows what He’s doing. After all, He’s better at being God than I am.” (Ryan Kwon)
2. Sabbath as deliverance from taskmasters In Egypt, the Israelites were slaves with no freedom over what they could or couldn’t do. “Slaves don’t rest. Slaves can’t rest. Slaves, by deﬁnition, have no freedom to rest. Rest, it turns out, is a condition of liberty. God calls us to live in the freedom that he won for us with his own outstretched arm. Sabbath is a refusal to go back to Egypt.” (Mark Buchanan) Q: What is your “Egypt” -- the source of your restlessness?
2. Sabbath as deliverance from taskmasters “The lie the taskmasters want you to swallow is that you cannot rest until your work’s all done, and done better than you’re currently doing it. But the truth is, the work’s never done, and never done quite right.” (Mark Buchanan) Q: What lies do your “taskmasters” tell you? What truths do you counter it with?
Sabbath Heart ⇒ Sabbath Delight (Isaiah 58:13-14 ESV) If you turn back your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on my holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight and the holy day of the LORD honorable; if you honor it, not going your own ways, or seeking your own pleasure, or talking idly; then you shall take delight in the LORD, and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth; I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken. Q: In what ways do you think Sabbath can be a “delight”?
Sabbath Heart ⇒ Sabbath Delight “God’s purpose for us on the sabbath is that we experience the highest and most intense joy that can be experienced, namely, that we “take delight in the Lord.” And yet what he ﬁnds again and again is professing Christians who prefer little human-sized pleasures from things that have no close relation to God at all. ...... The reason that so many people feel it as a burden is partly that we have so much leisure, we don’t feel the need for the sabbath rest; but more important, I think, is the fact that not many people really enjoy what God intended us to enjoy on the sabbath, namely, himself.” (John Piper)
References The Rest of God (Mark Buchanan) Receiving the Day (Dorothy Bass) “Remember the Sabbath Day to Keep It Holy” (John Piper) “Airport Rest” (Ryan Kwon)