I recently graduated from college (May 2010) and am still looking for a job. I majored in business, but my free-spirited self hopes to take it into a nonprofit/missions direction someday.
During my five years of college, and really all of my life - I have studied hard and have rested very little. I didn't come from a family that observed the Sabbath, or even a Sunday version of it, and sadly, I think that most Christian families don't observe the Sabbath either...so it's not like I've been very exposed to many people who consider a whole day of rest once a week to be an important part of their Christian life. We Christians certainly don't know how to rest any more than the world does. In college, I worked myself to death. I didn't know how to relax. In fact, I often felt guilty if I had any fun, or watched a movie, or spent too much time chatting with friends. I ended up being tired and stressed through most of college, something my personality wilts under. But then, what personality LOVES stress?
I'm still trying to find that balance, but what I loved about church today is that my pastor talked about how the Sabbath is about observing the spirit of the law, not the letter of the law. He spoke out of Mark 2:23- 3:6. Jesus said that the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. God created the Sabbath because he LOVED his people, and wanted them to rest at a time where every other nation was working 7 days a week. God created the idea of a "day off", or the "weekend off". He basically started a whole nation in sync with resting after 6 days of hard labor. But the Pharisees (which, we all have a bit of Pharisee in us, so there's not too much judgment coming from me) were horrified at how he healed on the Sabbath and how he allowed his disciples to basically feed themselves by picking grain on the Sabbath, and so they decided to consort with the Herodians, who were FAR WORSE than Jesus when it came to breaking the Sabbath! The Pharisees hated the Herodians! What were they thinking!? They must have been THAT angry.
So it got me pondering the subject of how much God loves us and is looking after us, and wants us to take time to reconnect and relax and rejuvenate after we've put in some serious work. He wants us to spend time with Him and enjoy Him! I think there is blessing in that, and I really missed out in college by not picking a day to observe as the Sabbath, whether the traditional Saturday, or the Christian Sunday...or some other day. Hmmm. Welp, I can't go back and fix the past, but I can certainly start taking it seriously now. I think I shall try out some Sabbath-resting come this next Saturday. :-)
Lord of the Sabbath23One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields, and as his disciples walked along, they began to pick some heads of grain. 24The Pharisees said to him, "Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?" 25He answered, "Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need? 26In the days of Abiathar the high priest, he entered the house of God and ate the consecrated bread, which is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions."
27Then he said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. 28So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath."
Mark 31Another time he went into the synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. 2Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath. 3Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand, "Stand up in front of everyone."
4Then Jesus asked them, "Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?" But they remained silent.
5He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored. 6Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus.