The GOSPEL Choices series has come to a close and we will now go back to the “Meeting Jesus Again” series in Luke and our emphasis of the summer based off of Luke 10:38-42 will be to Slow Down & Contemplate Jesus.
This does not mean replacing lack of church activity with business, but rather live a contemplative lifestyle this summer to hear the voice of God. This includes learning and being with Jesus and other Christians.
When I was in Seminary our school president had a philosophy – “Knowing, Being, Doing” – I didn’t get it at the time, but as I have contemplated what he was saying, I now understand:
– Knowing – we need to sit at Jesus’ feet and learn…
– Being – we need to be with Jesus and be in fellowship with one another…
– Doing – we need to do ministry…
The trick is knowing when it is time to serve vs. when it is time to sit still before the Lord.
Our church has been in a “knowing” / “doing” phase for a while and now we are entering into a “knowing” / “being” phase for the summer à like a Sabbath Rest.
I will explain what that mean, practically, in a few minutes, but first – what is the Sabbath Day from a biblical perspective?
The Sabbath Day in the OT (Deut. 5:12-14) was a day of rest that was devoted to the LORD. This did not mean the Israelites worked for 6 days and then played on the 7th day; nor did this mean the Israelites just laid around and did nothing on the 7th day; nor did it mean spending 1 ½ hours at a worship service and then spending the next 22 ½ hours playing. The 7th day was to be a day of “rest” in the LORD, devoted to the LORD, for the full 24 hours.
Modern Conservative, Orthodox and Hasidic Jews live within walking distance of their Synagogue so that they walk to the building on Friday evening, spend time with their Jewish community all evening worshipping, eating, playing, and relaxing together. Then they walk home and the next day the come back together for more time in worship, learning, playing, eating, and even dancing during worship time celebrating God together. Then when the sun goes down on Saturday evening they walk back home and continue their normal, daily routines. This is how modern Jews interpret and apply the Scriptures related to Sabbath.
We don’t have such a concept in our churches: partially because Christians shifted worship to Sundays to honor the Lord Jesus’ resurrection, celebrating the Lord’s Supper on Saturday night or Sunday mornings right before work (Sunday was a work day in the ancient world, the first day of the week) and therefore did not have time to worship together all day on Sunday; and partially the reason we don’t celebrate all day is because Christians have down played a literal 24 hour Sabbath Rest to focus on our eternal Sabbath Rest in Jesus that begins when we accept Christ and continues through obedience (Hebrews 4:1-11).
Now, the New Testament Scriptures do not instruct us to worship 24 hours from Friday sun down to Saturday sun down; nor do they instruct us not to do so. All that the New Testament says about this is: (1) not to argue about a Sabbath Day (Col. 2:16); and (2) that the Christians came together for worship on the first day of the week (Sunday) for instruction, the Lord’s Supper, prayer, and benevolence collection (Acts 20:7-12; 1 Corinthians 16:1-3; & Revelation 1:10).
All the above makes you think – do we really do this? Do we rest before Jesus? Our challenge over this summer is to rest in the Lord.
“There is a time to work and a time to listen.” – Darrell Bock