Then Jesus said to them, 'The sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the sabbath. (Mark 2:27)
Did you take some sabbath rest during this long holiday weekend? Did you take a few minutes, or better yet, a few hours, and do nothing? Even better still, a whole day with nothing planned where you took time to just be? Not do – be.
I have heard it said that we are not human beings but rather human doings. We always have to be doing something and we never take the time to just be. Our society judges us by what we do, what we get done, how busy we are. We wear our busy-ness like a badge of honor, and the weariness that goes with it, too. Count how many times during the week you ask people how they are, and they respond, “Tired.” Count how many times YOU respond, “Tired.”
The story of the exodus is a foundational story for the Jewish people. The Bible says over and over, “Once you were slaves in Egypt, but with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, God has led you to freedom.” And when the Hebrew people were slaves in Egypt, there was no sabbath. There was no rest. And the people were tired.
But once they were free and about to enter the Promised Land, God commanded them to rest once every seven days. Do no work. Make no plans. Just be! Why? “Remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt” (Deut. 5:15). Remember the time when you could not rest. Remember how tired you were. That is NOT what God wants for God’s people. Rest. Relax. Be renewed.
So, did you take some sabbath rest during this long holiday weekend? Did you slow down and say to the world, “God loves me just for being and so I don’t have to be constantly doing”?
Who knows? Maybe if we slow down and make ourselves less busy for a little bit, we may even find God’s presence waiting for us, waiting for us in the peaceful moments of sabbath rest. That is what the sabbath is made for.