42 minutes ago
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Have You Taken a SABBATH Lately?
This week I was searching on Google Image search for pictures for our upcoming Young Adults Ministry's SABBATH Retreat. So I typed in the simple word "SABBATH" and was horrified at what came up on my screen. Of the first 18 images, which are sorted by popularity of the topic you input, they were almost all either of wiccan sabbaths or the iconic metal band Black Sabbath. Actually the top three were all witch sabbaths. Of those first 18 there were none that related to Christianity whatsoever.
As a follower of Christ in a nation that claims to be predominately Christian, I wonder have we so greatly neglected to follow one of the basic (It's in the Top Ten!) commandments that these other concepts of "sabbath" have overrun what God commanded when He said: "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy." (Exodus 20:8 ESV)?
So I am issuing a challenge. For a lot of us here at 180 Youth Ministry we are on Summer Break, which means we may be busy but we do have a lot of flex time. So let's bring back the Sabbath! At the heart of this concept of Sabbath is the principle of resting in God. The LORD goes on in Exodus 20 to say: "Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. ON it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter..."(Ex 20:9-10a ESV). Now that's not to say that God intended for us to be legalistic about not doing any work on Sundays, but doing whatever we want the rest of the week. (Or using that as an excuse to not clean your room or do the dishes on Sundays when your parents ask you!) Jesus said: "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath." (Mark 2:27 ESV). What Jesus is telling us is that God knows you need this rhythm of rest and reflection and listening to Him, so make it a habit.
So here's a few ideas of how you can do that this week:
*Get up early and pray while you watch the sun rise.
*Schedule two hours this week to go to your favorite outdoor spot and read the Bible.
*Ask your family to go to the park this week with no agenda other than to be together.
*Fast. That means go without food for a period of time so you can pray instead.
I want to take just a moment to share a cool opportunity with this idea. Every three months our Youth Ministry has a designated fasting date. July 11th is it for this quarter. We are asking those who fast to focus on prayer for our High School Summer Conference (also known as CIY!) which is on July 14-18. Maybe you would want to take that day and declare it a Sabbath. Fast and pray and read your Bible that day.
Whatever you decide to do, I challenge you to take some time this week to rest and remember God. Let me know how your experience goes. God Bless.