Why am I so exhausted? I just need a break.

We’re all familiar with this. We work hard, we work long hours, and after going at a pretty high pace for a pretty long time, we all get tired. We need to stop. We need a change of pace, and we need to recuperate from all we’ve been slaving away at. We desperately need to rest from work.

But there is another option.

Work From Rest

What if, instead of resting from work, we worked from a place of rest? You usually work hard, go to bed too late, get up too early, and hit it again just as hard as you did yesterday, only with slightly less energy this time. But what if you could wake up refreshed, start slow and with some sense of perspective about your day, and actually be present and alert in it?

That is what Sabbath gives us. Sabbath is not a crash for a few hours or a day at the end of a long week to recover. It’s not a week off because we’re burned out and need a “vacation.” Sabbath is something we do on purpose. We plan it. Sure it’s still a rest from work in some ways, but we schedule it in because we know we will need it rather than crashing into it in mental and physical exhaustion.

Our tendency is to always work and always build, feeling that our constant movement is gaining something that our stillness would not. Sabbath is an invitation from God to stop.

What Sabbath Is

Sabbath is a pretty religious sounding word. What does it mean, and how in the world does it apply to us today?

Exodus 20.8-11 gives us an introduction to Sabbath. Our tendency is to always work and always build, feeling that our constant movement is gaining something that our stillness would not. Sabbath is an invitation from God to stop on purpose, understanding that everything we are and everything we have comes from Him. Because he is the Giver, we can stop.

Sabbath is a chance to rest, eat, celebrate, play, and worship. It’s a season to purposefully listen to God and reflect. It’s a chance to set our vision, our priorities, and our perspective in order so that we live intentionally, present in the moments of our days, and redeem the time we’ve been given. It’s a way of reclaiming our days, our energy, and our lives for the sake of our great God and his kingdom.

It’s a chance for us to intentionally remember and rest in the gospel.

What Sabbath Isn’t

Sabbath isn’t just an hour, a day, or a week off. We stop some things on purpose, mostly the busyness and labor of work, and we intentionally do more of other things, specifically listening to God and doing things that bring us life. For most of us, our work is life-draining, not life-giving, even if we enjoy our job. But Sabbath is the opposite. It’s us stopping to allow God to fill us with new life and doing things that point us toward his grace and his heart, refreshing our spirits.

So when you Sabbath, don’t just stop doing. Start doing.

Sabbath at Remedy

We know that pressing into life and mission together, and the regularity of our Missional Community routines, can become tiring at times, and a change of pace can be a good and healthy thing. Because we know that our tendency is to get too busy, work too hard, and lose our intentional focus on the gospel, we schedule in time to stop, rest, and reflect as part of our annual rhythm.

Because we know that our tendency is to get too busy, work too hard, and lose our intentional focus on the gospel, we are scheduling in time to stop, rest, and reflect.

It’s OK to Press Pause

We do not have our regular worship gathering for two Sundays during our Sabbath. We also do not have any formal Missional Community gatherings or events. Originally, we wrestled with what to have and not have going during this season, and ultimately we felt like knowing that God is the Giver, and that he is in control, gives us the freedom to pause for a few weeks without losing a step.

What will happen?

Sundays During our Sabbath
If you want to rest, travel, or do something else on Sundays, please take advantage of the time. Maybe you should invite a few friends or neighbors over for breakfast. If you prefer to be part of another church’s weekend gathering, feel free to do that, but don’t go because you feel like you “need to be in church.” It’s ok to go. It’s also ok to rest. Do what is best for you or your family.

Get Together with Your Spiritual Family
We encourage you to be with your Missional Community in whatever ways you are comfortable with. It might be for brunch on a Saturday or Sunday, a play date or cookout one evening, or something else. It might be 2-3 families or all the guys or ladies. While we are pressing pause as a church for a short season, rhythms of life and family don’t stop, so look for ways to be together.

“What should I do during this season?”

Make a plan. These three weeks go by fast, so sit down now and think through a plan for how to take advantage of the time. What can you do during these few weeks to spend time in Sabbath rest yourself and teach your family about it? Maybe you want to take a trip or vacation. Maybe you want to start some family devotions or a family worship time. Maybe you want to use the extra time to invite friends over. Whatever it is, think about these things now.

Plan to be back together. Use this season to rest and reflect. Then make plans to be together for the first worship gathering after the Sabbath ends to celebrate. Let’s come back together ready to launch into a new season of ministry! What things are you asking God to do in the next season?

Reflect. Plan to spend time intentionally connecting with and listening to God. Reflect on what he might be saying to you or your family. Ask him to speak to you in some unique ways during this season. Spend time with other believers, unpacking the things God may be saying to you and to them and talking about how those things impact your lives. Help your kids learn to listen to God and reflect on what he says. Make some plans for what your life will look like going forward.

Rest. Think about what helps you rest. What energizes you? Is it being with people or do you prefer time alone or with your family? Do you like being out and about or would you rather nap, read, or sit on the porch? What things help you rest and relax. Spend time doing them.

Connect with others. While we will not have much organized activity going on, this is a perfect season to initiate some organic things. Look for ways to be together with your Missional Community or others. Look for chances to invite people of peace over or out somewhere.

Resources for Sabbath

BookThe Rest of God
ArticleRest Because You Can 
ArticleLay Aside the Weight of Restless Work 
SermonsRemedy’s The Rest of God sermon series
SurpriseA little inspiration…

What will God do?

This is the real question, and honestly, we have no idea what God will do during this season. We’re excited about what God will say and do when we still ourselves with the intentional purpose of listening and connecting with him. Make plans to redeem this time, and plan to work from your rest. The rest is up to the Lord, and we’ll see where he leads.

We pray God’s blessing and grace on this season for us all.