In this series we will explore the ancient practice of Sabbath. Is it still relevant for today? How so? What does practicing Sabbath look like? We will explore how the heart of Sabbath is about becoming awake to God and neighbour (and thereby finding our true selves); about entering into a sanctioned time and staying there long enough to have our desires shaped; about adopting a posture of rest in order to truly receive a gift; about avoiding mindless wandering by becoming mindfully rooted, reminded of our distinct identity.
November 22, 2015
Realizing the Resurrection: a weekly anniversary
Text: John 20:11-28
Why do Christians typically gather for worship on Sunday, as opposed to the Saturday Sabbath? We find this practice beginning the first Sunday following the resurrection, and continuing to the current day. Each time we gather as a local body of believers, then, is an opportunity to intentional embrace/celebrate/realize the resurrection of Jesus as the first fruits of the new creation
November 8, 2015
Sabbath is for tasting: resting in Jesus
Text: Hebrews 12
“There remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God” - the author of Hebrews compares the church to the Israelites waiting to enter the promised land. God’s rest refers to the future kingdom, in which there is no sin, evil, or pain. And so the goal of the Sabbath day is to taste this coming kingdom: to have no pressing urgencies upon us but to be awake to our God, to pay attention to him, to embrace our place in His world.
November 1, 2015
Sabbath is for remembering God’s mercy
Text: Matthew 12:1-14
Description: In this passage we see how Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath. Jesus’ purpose on earth is the same as the Sabbath’s purpose: to offer humanity mercy. The Sabbath was made for humanity - that they would have rest. “Come to me”, says Jesus, “and you shall have rest”. And so in the face of the tendency to make rules forbidding certain activities (like the Pharisees forbidding picking grain), Jesus directs us to the heart of the Sabbath: its about resting in the provision of God.
October 18, 2015
Sabbath is for thankfulness: Resisting Anxiety
Text - Exodus 20:1-17
Description: The Exodus rendering of the Ten Commandments roots Sabbath keeping in creation, calling upon us to recognize our creaturely limits. At its heart, Sabbath rest is trusting in the sovereignty and goodness of God. We are exhausted, not from working too much, but from the mistaken belief that we must maintain our world.
October 11, 2015
Sabbath is for thankfulness: resisting slavery
Text - Deuteronomy 5:1-21
Description: The Deuteronomy rendering of the fourth commandment roots Sabbath keeping in the reality that God delivered Israel from slavery. Perhaps the biggest threat to Christianity today is consumerism and its power to shape our understanding of ourselves, and the dynamic of God’s relationship with us. Sabbath is for thankfulness - for God and His grace, for freedom, for what we have and what is promised. Sabbath thankfulness will rob consumerism of its power, and thereby reclaim our true selves.
October 4, 2015
Sabbath is for wakefulness: reclaiming our true selves
Text - Exodus 20:1-17
Description - God, in the fourth commandment, instructs us to take a day. Putting down everything else that “we must do”, we enter into the space of this day to look to God (the first three commandments), and to look to others (the last six commandments). The hope of keeping a Sabbath-day is that we stop long enough to grow Sabbath-hearts that carry into the other six days as well.