How will you practice the art of Sabbath?

November 2, 2008 — Leave a comment

Our central task as Christians is not to maximize either our work or our play while minimizing the other, nor to merge our work with our play.  Instead, Christians are created and called to consecrate both their work and their play. (Robert Johnston in The Christian at Play)

Our worship services in the Sabbath series have generated a buzz of discussion and challenge – which is the very response the Bible should create in a community.   Our staff has put together a Summary and Discussion Tool to help us “be doers not just hearers!”    Take the time to review and ask the good and hard questions that will help you “make the Sabbath a delight.” (Isaiah 58)  Click on Read More and Comment below to see the Tool.

A Summary and Discussion Tool for

SABBATH: Practicing the Art of Stopping

1. Re-learn The Sabbath Principle~

Sabbath gives humanity the energy it needs to exist for another week. (Genesis 1; Exodus 20; Matthew 12)

  • When is your Sabbath?
  • How will you change your weekly patterns to celebrate your Sabbath?
  • Does the Lord of the Sabbath govern your days?

2. Re-focus Your Work~

Sabbath is when our work is done even if it isn’t (you are not a machine). (Genesis 2:15; Deuteronomy 5:12-15)

“Rest as if all your work were done…rest even from the thought of labor” – Heschel

  • How is your identity now being formed around God’s plans and purposes instead of your work and what you produce?
  • Is the work you do formed around Kingdom values?

3. Resist Consumption~

Sabbath is when we consume nothing. (Isaiah 58)

“There is happiness in the love of labor; there is misery in the love of gain.” – Heschel

  • What can we change in order not to be consumption driven?
  • How can we turn consumption into generosity?

4. Re-connect with Family and Community~

Sabbath is when we are fully available to ourselves and the people we love the most. (Matthew 12:1-14)

  • What is keeping you from connecting: to family, to church, to friends?
  • How can I change so that my church community is a priority? My family a priority? My wholeness is a priority?
  • What do I need to stop to make time for this?

5. Rest in God’s Presence~

Sabbath is when we are still, silent, and fully available to God. (Hebrews 4, Psalm 46:10)

  • How am I making space for God this week? Each day? Each moment?
  • How am I still before God?

6. Re-create and Celebrate!

Sabbath is a day when our job is to enjoy – period.

  • Do I have a Sabbath practice that I delight in more than anything in the week?
  • What does “Play” look like for me and my family or friends?
  • How will I incorporate both Re-creation and Adoration in my Sabbath practice this week?
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