Saturday, March 22, 2014

Take a Break

Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest, right?  I've always had a little trouble with that concept.  We can't really sleep in, because we go to church in the morning.  For me, this involves getting everyone up, getting breakfast, making sure everyone is dressed appropriately, practicing piano, and getting all of the people and things into the van.  This is before we even leave for church!  Church is a whole other brand of busyness, as I have to get the music set up for the church service and get the materials set up for Sunday School before most people get to church.  Then, I teach Sunday School right up to the church service, when I have to be at the piano ready to play the prelude.  For the next few weeks, we have added a choir practice after the service, as we are planning a special song for Easter Sunday.  By the time I get home in the afternoon, I'm tired.  Sunday for me is a day of responsibility.

But Jesus said "People were not made for the good of the Sabbath.  The Sabbath was made for the good of people" (Mark 2:27).  God ordained rest for the Sabbath, forbidding even the animals to work.  How do I reconcile this with my busy Sundays?

This is too much like work!
First of all, understand that I know the Jewish Sabbath is from Friday night at sundown to Saturday night at sundown.  As a Christian, I have grown up celebrating the Lord's Day on Sunday.  I'm not going to try to determine which is the "right" day.  For our family, Saturday is a day of activity for the kids, and work for my husband, so celebrating together is nigh impossible.  Sunday we are all together, so it makes more sense to consider it as a rest day.

Last weekend, I read a post on the blog "Following Judah's Lion" called "Worship".  Part of the post really hit me:
And yet how many people rise up on Sunday, hurry to make their outward man presentable, and quickly set out for the church building? But they have spent no time at all with Christ to say nothing of seeking Him and preparing their hearts to worship with other believers.

How many, indeed?  Add me to that list, please!  But how do I get out of this mindset, I wonder?  

And then I realized.  The things I'm doing in church are not work.  I'm treating them as work, but they're not.  Getting breakfast for my family is not work.  These things are blessings.  They are blessings for others, and blessings for me, and they are a way to worship.  

The blessing of breakfast!
Last Sunday, I put a turkey in the oven before church, and invited friends over to eat with us.  There was more work involved, getting a hot meal together, but it was a joyful time of preparing to spend time with friends.  And we were able to spend several hours together, enjoying each other's company.  Even washing the dishes afterward did not feel like work to me.  It was joy because I was focused on the good time I had with my friends.

So I've decided to change my focus.  Instead of focusing on the things I'm doing, I need to focus on why I'm doing them, and who I'm doing them for.  When I am preparing a Sunday School lesson or picking music for the church service, I need to use those times to prepare my heart.  I am lucky!  Most people have to remember to make time to seek God and prepare their hearts.  I have those times ready-built into my weekly schedule!  The "work" I do for Sunday morning, from the time in the week spent preparing, to the time teaching and playing music on Sunday, can be worship, not work.  Feeding my family with food, and feeding my Sunday School class with the Word are not work.  They are worship.  Leading the church in singing is not work.  It is worship.  Even getting dressed in the morning and combing my daughter's hair can be worship.  I am preparing to worship with other believers!  My family!  

Jesus called himself "Lord of the Sabbath."  As with everything else he taught, he got right to the spirit of the day, rather than the law.  Sabbath was given to the people to help them see God.  There is so much to do each day, just to survive in these fleshy "houses" we live in.  They require food and clothes and shelter, and since we were banished from Eden, we have to work hard to provide these things, or our bodies will die.  And sometimes that work can take all of our focus.  But God knew that our spirits needed time to be with Him.  To be joined with other spirits, which are also joined with His, and with His Son's.  So he gave us the Sabbath.  As a gift.  Not as a day to laze around and watch sports, or sleep in and then enjoy the paper.  As a day that we could spend time with Him.  Our Father.  Without all the distractions that we have to live with the rest of the week.  It is a glimpse of Eden.  Of Paradise.  And it's all for us!

How good is God?  He has never forgotten us.  He has never forsaken us.  He has always been with us, waiting for us to turn and acknowledge Him.  To know Him.  He's there while we're going about our business, focusing on ourselves.  And all we need to do is stop.  For a minute.  For even a second.  And look.  And see.  Really see.  And after we see, to remember.  Because once you know, it gets easier.  And you can never not know again.  And once you've caught a glimpse, you want to see more.  And you look for ways to see, and time to see, and eyes to see.  And you see, and you are seen.  And all of life is Sabbath.


  1. Robin, you are one busy lady. Congratulations. What music do you play? What is it called?

  2. I play the piano at my church. We sing hymns and other songs about God - I guess you would just call them "Christian songs?" There is no particular style, it's a mix of old and new. I basically play songs that everyone can sing with to worship God.


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