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Rest Your Neighbor

“Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Work six days and do everything you need to do. But the seventh day is a Sabbath to God, your God. Don’t do any work—not you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your servant, nor your maid, nor your animals, not even the foreign guest visiting in your town. For in six days God made Heaven, Earth, and sea, and everything in them; he rested on the seventh day. Therefore God blessed the Sabbath day; he set it apart as a holy day.” – Exodus 20:8-11 MSG


No, we aren’t in Egypt anymore, but
I look around and listen.

I hear about
overflowing schedules,
nonstop activity,
burnt out lives
existing on fast food
and ambitious fumes.

To go and do —
to be more —
to make more —
to buy more.

Have you heard it too?

I know in my heart
it’s only another type
of slavery we’ve taken on —
we, the oppressors
and the oppressed,
aching for a day of rest.

When sickness arrives,
we finally get to put our feet up.

But, God spoke,
“Sabbath.
It’s for you.
It’s for others.
It’s for the land.
It’s for the living.”

If we, you and I,
say “yes” and receive the gift,
we become gift bearers able
to gift others.

You and I,
empowering others—
our overworked spouse,
our burdened student,
our aching waitress—
to still themselves
by stilling ourselves

You and I —
modeling for others—
remembrance (of God who put limits on production to savor goodness)
equality (for all living plants, animals and people who are gifted a 1 in 7 day respite)
rest (to enjoy playful delight with God as the focus)
serenity (by setting aside the anxiety of our lives with intention)
trust (in a creation that continues without our work)

You and I —
co-creators with God to
free others
from the slavery
of their tired lives.


Companies Who Sabbath
Chik-Fil-A and Hobby Lobby, both Christian-based companies are two examples in our modern day culture who resist the urge to make more profit by giving their employees a day to rest, worship and spend time among family. By dimming their lights on Sunday they become quiet beacons of light in a fast-paced world whispering, “Come to me, all who are weary and I will give you rest.”

Books on Sabbath:

Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal and Delight in Our Busy Lives by Wayne Muller

Sabbath As Resistance: Saying No to the Culture of Now by Walter Brueggemann

Sabbath: The Ancient Practices by Dan B. Allender

Related Posts:
• A Cure For Existing on Fumes
• Weekly Refreshment? (Come On, Who Has Time For That…)