Created for Rest

Genesis 1:26-2:3

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—A weekly practice.

—A greater reality.

Your Sabbath routine is a weekly practice that points toward the greater reality of future rest awaiting us in eternity with Jesus.

A weekly Sabbath acts as an invitation and opportunity to live now, in the present, as though we were already in our ultimate rest. We don't have to wait for eternity to experience it. A consistent Sabbath routine will bring rest to your soul, and help you operate from rest, rather than constantly searching for it.

Whether your soul is weary from an overly busy life valued by our culture, or your soul is weary from inactivity because the pandemic is keeping you from being able to do many things, I believe a Sabbath is part of our solution!
—Pastor Jason

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"The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath." 

—Jesus  // Mark 2:27

"Taking a Sabbath is not to prove to Jesus we are righteous. It's to remember that Jesus is righteous for us."

—Pastor Jason

Components for Sabbath

What should we do during our weekly Sabbath rest? We should stop working and worrying. We should create restful routines like time with Jesus through typical practices like prayer and Bible reading. But what about talking a walk,  a nap,  a break, or enjoying a favorite meal? Yes! All of those can be part of your Sabbath too. We should fill our Sabbath with things we delight in and enjoy most in life. Is there anything we're required to do? Really, only one: worship Jesus.
Jesus set us free from a rules oriented approach to taking a Sabbath (see Mark 2:23-28). Unless we make our Sabbath about something other than Jesus, there is no way to do it wrong.

* These four components are laid out in an excellent book by author and pastor John Mark Comer called The Relentless Elimination of Hurry.





Sabbath Guidelines from Pastor Jason's Sermon:

1. It's about rest, not rules.
The Pharisees made the Sabbath about rules, because of Jesus we're free from making the same mistake. 
2. It should be the peak of your week.
If you craft a biblically based Sabbath routine you are free to enjoy it!
3. It should be Jesus centered.
Taking a Sabbath is not just about checking out on our stressful work and world, it's about checking into Jesus. 
4. Make a plan and stick to it.
Physically exercising once doesn't make our bodies healthy, spiritually resting once won't make our souls healthy either.

Craft Your Sabbath 

in 3 Simple Steps

1. Open with Prayer

Giving God significant time in our week can be stressful and daunting. How will we get everything done? Take a moment to pray right now, and give the time you'll set aside to Sabbath to God, and begin trusting Him with what's left.

2. Watch the Video on Understanding the Sabbath

It's only 5 minutes, and seriously worth it.

3. Answer the Questions Below

Now, grab a notebook or open a note on your phone to record create your plan.
Download the PDF and print it. Put it somewhere noticeable as a reminder.

Download the PDF version.

Understanding the Sabbath

This video from The Bible Project is an animated explanation of the Sabbath from Genesis to Jesus. It's a great recap of Pastor Jason's first message on the Sabbath, covering most of the content he shared. It is well worth your time.

What time or day of the week will be your Sabbath?

Choose if you will take a whole day or part of a day. Will you start the night before and continue throughout the next day? (For more on this see the FAQ.)

How will you focus on Jesus throughout the day?

Be specific! Another way to accomplish this is to answer the question, "How will you make sure Jesus enjoys your Sabbath?" Looking at it this way will make sure you worship Jesus during your Sabbath. Part of the answer for this can be fleshed out in the next question. It's not that you can't watch TV or do some chores on your Sabbath, but make sure those are not the focus of your day.

How will your start and end your Sabbath day?

We strongly encourage you to create routines within your routine that are independent from the rest of your Sabbath. If you are a parent, this is especially important for you. Create Sabbath routines to begin and end your day that are before and after you kids are in bed!

What special things can you do to make your Sabbath enjoyable?

Will you incorporate food and special meals? Do you want to sleep in or take a nap? Take a walk, a bike ride, or a hike? Do you want to treat yourself or your family to a favorite desert? Do you want extra time alone, or more time with friends and family? (If you invite others in, make sure it's life-giving people!) It's your day, fill it with Jesus and things your enjoy.
Parents, this is another opportunity to think about how you can make the Sabbath enjoyable for your kids! Make sure you have routines for the day that are just for you, especially in case your kids decide to be difficult on your Sabbath. Having other things that get your focus on Jesus will help you react well to surprises and difficulties that come with small kids (or teens... or pre-teens for that matter!). 

How will you silence other voices and distractions?

One of the best things you can do is silence other voices for a day each week to focus on Jesus voice in your life. It might be as simple as turning off your phone. Can't do that all day? No problem, how long could you do it for? Choose specific times of the day you will not have your phone with you or you will have it turned off. Trust us. You can be unavailable for a while. Cell phones are a recent invention. Everyone survived just fine without them, you will too. 

What do you want to get done before your Sabbath?

Truly resting on the Sabbath may require some pre-work the day before. Do you want to make sure you've responded to all emails and phone calls before your Sabbath. Do you want to make sure the groceries and other weekly chores are done too? It's up to you. What would make the day most restful for you?

Have you incorporated all 4 components?

Stopping. Resting. Delighting. Worshipping.
Take a moment to look over your plans to make sure you've got them all covered! Remember, you're making a day you will enjoy and that will help you focus on Jesus. It should be a delight, not a duty!

For Married Couples:

When we are married, the two become one! You cannot craft your Sabbath independently from your spouse—and you shouldn't! You're in this together. Because of our different personalities and preferences, it will take time and good communication to create a Sabbath routine truly restful for both of you.

For Parents:

How can you help each other have an enjoyable Sabbath?

All parents are aware of the blessings, and challenges, children bring into our lives. Find out what your spouse needs for an enjoyable and restful Sabbath and make it happen for each other. Do you each need some time alone for a break. You could take turns. Or could someone watch your kids so you can break together sometimes?
Maybe you're a single parent. What do you do? We encourage you to ask for help, which we can be slow to do. Is there a family member, friend, or person from your small group who could help out? Even having someone watch your kids for a short time for you to take a nap or walk could be a big blessing.

How can you involve your kids?

We encourage you to search for creative ways you can involve your kids in the Sabbath routine? As parents, the Sabbath is also an opportunity to disciple our kids. We can set them up for spiritual success in life by helping them learn the value of the Sabbath as a spiritual discipline. Could you help them craft a plan of their own? 


Does my Sabbath have to be on Saturday like in the Old Testament?

No. In fact, from very early in church history New Testament Christians moved their Sabbath day of worship to Sundays, the day of Jesus' resurrection. But, that doesn't mean Christians have to Sabbath on Sundays. I (Pastor Jason) have to work on Sundays, so that would be a bad day for Sabbath for me. You might have to work Sunday's too. It's fine to pick any day of the week. 

Does my Sabbath have to be a whole day? 

No. Taking an entire day to rest from work is a great spiritual practice. But since it's not a binding commandment for Christians an entire day is not required. Even though it's not a binding command it's still a great idea. You could start with an hour or two, then move to part of a day like morning, afternoon, or evening, then to half a day before eventually taking a whole day.

If the Sabbath is not a binding command for Christians, why should I do it?

Because while we have an amazing, soul refreshing, rest available in Jesus (ultimately, Jesus is our Sabbath rest) having a Sabbath routine each week is probably the best way to live with a better awareness of that rest, and beyond that, experience the rest we have in Jesus. It's very easy as Christians to live without experiencing rest in our relationship with Jesus. Sabbath is a powerful remedy. 

Does my Sabbath routine have to take place all within one day of the week?

No! Actually, there are many people who split their Sabbath between two days. The reason for this comes from how a day began and ended in biblical times for the Jewish people. A day did not being at midnight as it does for us today. Each day of the week began at sundown. So, the biblical Sabbath started on what we would consider Friday evening at sundown, and ended on Saturday at sundown.
There are many people today who start their Sabbath  on Saturday evening and end it Sunday evening. This allows you to start your Sabbath routine with dinner on Saturday, which is an easy way to create a special moment for you and your family. You can even make your favorite meal each week as part of "delighting" as you Sabbath. Or, if you have a family you could do a different persons favorite meal each week in a rotation. You could also invite family and friends to join you if that would make it more enjoyable for you. Again, Jesus set us from from rules. Create a routine you enjoy, and don't feel bad about it!

Does my Sabbath routine have to happen at the same time every week?

While we're free from having to Sabbath on Saturday's like in the Old Testament. We suggest keeping your routine the same each week if at all possible. It's easier to be consistent with the discipline of Sabbath if it's the same time. That being said, you may have a job requiring you to be on call, and you may plan a Sabbath and have it unavoidably interrupted. If it's out of your control, just move your Sabbath to a different time that week and rest away in Jesus.