For two Sundays, August 26th + September 2nd, our House will be stepping away from our normal weekend routine and into the rhythm of Sabbath. We realize the idea of NOT MEETING is a little crazy on the surface, but we are guided by a deeper spiritual belief that God intended to weave Sabbath rest into the fabric of creation.
We believe that as we cease from our efforts and celebrate again that God is the source of all we have and need, we will experience renewed strength and vision as a House.
To help you embrace and celebrate the journey with us, we have wrapped our Sabbath break around three pivotal ideas:
STOP. REST. REMEMBER.
To experience Sabbath, we must first stop. While this is counter-cultural in our world, God is inviting us into 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.
I remember during my college years hiking with a friend to the bottom of the Grand Canyon at night. We traveled by flashlight and starlight, arriving at the edge of the Colorado River around 4am. As we laid down on the sandy bank and looked skyward, the reality of being a mile deep inside canyon walls, where not a glimmer of man-made light competed with the night sky, caused the stars to appear so close it was as if I could reach up and touch them.
In the same way, when we still ourselves and look toward Jesus, He is near. And, He is able.
Sabbath frees us to 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.
Our God is a God of rest. It is in His rest that we are renewed for the tasks ahead.
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.”
Two things stand out in this text. One, after creating the world, God ceased from His labor.
And, two, 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 isn’t necessarily a vacation. It’s not simply time off. Rest is 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. When we recount God’s faithfulness it builds up our faith. So, during the next couple of weeks, I encourage you to take 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. We must believe that, “Faithful is He who calls you, He also will bring it to pass.” 1 Thessalonians 5:24.
As well, may I encourage you to continue your normal giving even while we are away. Our financial obligations do not rest when we do, and we want to be a generous House even on the Sundays we don’t gather. This is possibly the most miraculous part of our Sabbath break!
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.
—Louie, Passion City Church Global Pastor