Today, we find ourselves in a society where we have less and less time away. Preachers are no exception, many of us work constantly. Sometimes we fall into the trap of judging ourselves by how busy we are. A few years ago when they were more prominent, people saw carrying a beeper as a sign of “importance.” Today it may be checking email or posting a Facebook status update on our smart phone.
We are busy, but what are we doing? Sometimes you can be so busy doing things that you don’t ever take a step back and see how this busyness affects our congregations, families, friendships, and even our connection to God.
I can remember someone telling me that he must be must always retain a connection to the activities and events of the world at all times. His fear was that something important would happen and he would not know it. He believed that something big that he needed to address could come up that would he should respond to. These events, in his mind, could come up at any tie. Many of us think just like that. We need to know everything right now so that we can be able to “do” and “work” at a minute’s notice.
In light of these observations one might come to the conclusion that a time of complete disconnect from the world is not possible. There is too much information out there to take a 24-hour period to remove ourselves from the powers-that-be in this world to be possible. In short, we don’t believe that a time when we can “unplug from the Matrix” is something we can afford. We may miss something. We may be disconnected from something that may happen that we want to know about. We cannot afford Sabbath because the society in which we live makes Sabbath impossible.
We Come Back With A New Mind
But Sabbath is important, and needed, even today. One thing that we will learn when we begin respecting Sabbath is that the world goes on just as it has always has without us. When we begin our rest from “six days of work” we learn that we are not indispensable to the working of this present world.
The world goes on. In addition, when we “plug back in” at the end of rest, we find that many of those things we thought we had to know or had to respond to, could have waited.
Another great benefit of rest is that we come back into our daily work with a different mindset.
We come to the world with a mindset enlightened by taking time off to live outside the confines of the Kingdoms of this World. (Metaphorically, of course you cannot totally separate, but our mind does engage in different lines of thought as we leave our daily work behind.)
We come back to our daily work knowing that our society does not have the final word on what is possible and what is truth. We have taken a specific period of rest where we seek to see the benefits of God’s Kingdom. We have recharged our batteries by fostering a closer connection with the Divine, our families, and our friends.
In essence when we boycott the present world for 24 hours we taste at least partially the coming Basilea of God.
We have learned that our disconnecting from this world is the point. We need that disconnection! This is why God gave us rest. This is why God gave us Sabbath. We must take time to see a vision. A vision where people are not judged by what they can produce, for all production and work is to cease during this moment. No we are are judged from the vision of the coming Basilea.
We have learned that family, faith, and friendship is important and must be celebrated and intentionally valued if we are to live in the coming Basilea rather than the Kingdoms of this World.
Is Sabbath Relevant?
Is Sabbath relevant? Certainly the Kingdom’s of this world don’t want you to catch this vision of the new paradigm that we call the Basilea of God. Certainly the Kingdoms of the world would rather you keep looking at your clock, your smart phones, and continue to work endlessly in ceaseless activity.
But let us not give up Sabbath. Hold on to it. It is the vision that God has given to us of what is to come. Let us hold on to Sabbath. For while the Kingdoms of this world might see it as unnecessary or a hindrance, it is a training bed for living the coming Basilea. Finally, it provides direction to help us during every other day of the week.
Rest is necessary. Rest is a blessing.