This is my article that was published today in the Natoma-Luray Independent section of The Russell County News.
Remember the Sabbath Day.
Last weekend, I was out of town. I will not bore you with the details, but to put it simply I was on vacation. For a period of one week, I did not work: I was not required to be places, nor was I responsible for the accomplishment of certain tasks.
Now before I left, I did need to get things ready for that time when I would be gone; and when I returned, I did have to do things which were the result of my being gone for that week, but the point is that for one week, I did not work.
While I can assure you that I did not crawl in a hole and sleep for a week, I did rest. And that is one of the reasons that God gave the command to take a Sabbath. The Sabbath is that time that is set aside in which one can first and foremost worship God, but it is also that time when one rests and refreshes their mind and their body.
In Israel, the Sabbath meant you did not do anything, there were rules then, and still today, that restricted what you could and could not do on the Sabbath Day, even restricting the numbers of steps you took, what your animals could and could not do, and how you prepared your food. The Sabbath meant a day in which you did absolutely nothing.
We do not have this strict reading of the Sabbath today; by His death and resurrection, Jesus abolished the Law. But we still have that need, that word of the Lord, telling us to take a Sabbath.
Your Sabbath may not mean sitting in your house and doing nothing. It may mean going to the lake for a few days, or going out of town to a county fair, or it may even mean just staying home and enjoying the air conditioner. The goal is that you stop doing what you would otherwise normally do: work, sports, school; and you take a day to rest, a day to refresh.
This is not just for pastors or students or teachers or farmers; this is for everyone. The body needs rest, God knows this. That is why He has told us to take a day, and to rest. That day may not always be Sunday; although that is the day we have set aside for worship. A day of rest may be any day of the week.
The result of this day of rest is actually quite surprising. When you return from your Sabbath, you will in fact have more energy to do the work that needs to be done. A rested body is a productive body; and you may just find that you get more done by taking a day off then you ever did by working every day.
So this summer, remember the Sabbath Day.
God Bless! Pastor Michael Schmidt