For the next two Sundays, August 27th + September 3rd, our House will be stepping away from the normalcy of our weekend routine and into this rhythm of Sabbath:
To experience Sabbath, we must first stop.
Sabbath rest is woven into the fabric of creation, a time where we pause from all our labor and remember that God is in charge of the universe. He invites us to cease striving and unload our cares at the feet of the One who spoke the cosmos into existence.
We can release the sense of “I’ve got to pull this off,” and remember that our Father in heaven knows what we’re made of. He knows what we can bear. And He promises to carry the load (and us) into the plans that He is already unfolding around us.
So, let’s stop. Let’s put down the struggle and the busyness and interrupt our own rhythm so we can experience something new.
Rest is the next part of Sabbath. In fact, before taking any steps on this journey, first, we rest.
We understand how backwards those last three little words seem, but in a way everything about the Kingdom of God is upside down. Interestingly, day one of the creation story for mankind was a rest day, not a workday. We find this account in Genesis 2:2 – 3:
By the seventh day God had finished the work He had been doing; so on the seventh day He rested (Sabbath) from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it He rested (Sabbath) from all the work of creating that He had done.
While God had placed man in the story on day six, stamped with the very image of God Himself and given the trust of stewarding earth, the first day on the job—the very beginning of man’s mission—was a day of rest. If we absorb this rhythm in the ebb and flow of our lives, we begin to realize that Sabbath rest is not what we do after a long stretch of life. Rather, Sabbath rest is how we begin each season. Before we work, we rest.
Rest doesn’t have to be a vacation. It’s more an attitude of the heart. Rest is what happens when we clear the deck and get God in full view.
While we’re resting, we remember.
Over the next couple weeks, I hope you’ll take the time to remember His faithfulness in the past. Before we attempt great things, we must first fix our hope on the God of all Creation.
Over the next two Sundays I want to encourage us all to Stop. Rest. Remember.
And in response to all God has done I want to encourage you to give. Speaking of giving, THANK YOU to all of you who leaned in, in trust, and gave with faith so incredibly on ABOVE + BEYOND Sunday. We exceeded our total from last year and also surpassed our expectations for this year.
Please continue your normal giving even while we are away. This is possibly the most miraculous part of our Sabbath break, a church who gives even when they do not meet!
And get ready to GO. Post Sabbath we will give our all, joining God in all He is doing in and around us in the coming months.
Thank you for being on this journey with us. Thank you for being the fine print of the story God is writing in and through our House. We love you, and we can’t wait to see what this next season holds.