March 13, 2020

The Lord will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.
Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.
“If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath
and from doing as you please on my holy day,
if you call the Sabbath a delight
and the Lord’s holy day honorable,
and if you honor it by not going your own way
and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,
then you will find your joy in the Lord,
and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land
and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.”

Isaiah 58:11-14

God’s gift of Sabbath is the commandment many of us forget about, yet it is one that would benefit us all. God took a Sabbath after he created the universe. God is not a workaholic. If we are created in the image of God, then we can take Sabbaths, too. We are not “too good” to take a Sabbath, even a piece of one. If God, the creator of the universe, had time to rest and take his Sabbath day, then we have the time too, despite feeling like our lives are too busy.

Not only is the Sabbath for resting and taking a break from work, but it is also for practicing things that bring us joy and for play, so to speak. Sabbath is a time for intimacy with others, yourself, and the Lord. It is a time to dwell with God. It helps us glorify and enjoy God. It is a spiritual gift made for us. Sabbath is not resting for the sake of increasing productivity and work. It is not buying into the secular and capitalist ideas of Sabbath, of the popularized self-care movement. It is not selfish, despite what society may tell us. Sabbath is liberation: from Pharaoh in the verses of Exodus, from capitalism and bureaucracy in modern times, from being over-worked. Sabbath helps us prepare for what’s next in God’s plan for us. It is a time of renewal, restoration, and working on our relationships with each other and God. It gives us time to take care of the bodies God has given us.

Dear God,
Thank you for your gift of Sabbath among many other gifts. Help me find time to take a Sabbath so that I may rest and be restored. Help me glorify you through the things that bring me joy. I seek to dwell in Sabbath with you, Lord, and to grow in our relationship. I give my time to you, Lord, to make use of your gift of Sabbath.

Taylor Allen

About the Contributor:
Taylor Allen is an art history and philosophy double major at Converse College. She is a member of First Presbyterian Church in Spartanburg, works in the nursery there, and is very active in UKIRK collegiate ministry.