Freerange Friday: We need Sabbath

by Lilly Lewin

By Lilly Lewin and Cindi Slaughter
One of the things I love about our Sunday night community practice of Lectio Divina is the wonderful things God shows people from the scripture passages we listen to each week.

If there are 10 people, there are 10 different sermons preached through the Holy Spirit highlighting exactly what each person needs to hear as he/she listens to the passage read three times.
We listen to the gospel passage read in three different voices and two different Bible translations. Usually the NIV (New International Version) and The Message Bible. We follow the Church Year Calendar and tend to follow the lectionary.

Last week’s gospel passage was on Jesus and the Sabbath Day. Mark 2-23-3:6 (see below)

After listening to the passage, everyone has half an hour to journal from the passage. I give them a few questions to consider and journal from, and then we gather back together and those who want to share what God showed them.

Here’s what my friend Cindi Slaughter wrote about Sabbath during her journaling time. Cindi is a song writer, an artist, and always has great insight that inspires our group. It’s a beautiful reminder of why we need to give ourselves permission to practice Sabbath. As you begin your weekend, take the time to read Cindi’s thoughts and ask Jesus to show you how you might take a “mini sabbath” this week.

We Need Sabbath by Cindi Slaughter

Mark 2:27 (MSG)
The Sabbath was made to serve us; we weren’t made to serve the Sabbath.
We need Sabbath – that’s why it was given.

It’s not about following the rules and changing my daily routine to fit within rules. That’s not it. It’s about creating space and place for God.
It’s about remembering what God has done for me.
It’s about stopping what I’m doing and seeing what God’s doing.
It’s about letting my body and soul rest so that I can be replenished.
It’s about giving myself what is needed so that I can continue on with the work that I am doing.
It’s counter cultural.
It doesn’t feel productive – even though it is.
It’s leaving the shoulds and oughts and taking a break from that mindset.
It’s about believing it is enough for God to just be and do nothing productive.
It’s about opening myself, listening, receiving, breathing, not being in control, not changing the world, not having a plan, not implementing anything, not managing….
Stop…ask God to be with me.
Wait.
Take what comes – if anything.
And the next day, get back to doing it all again.
 
We need Sabbath – that’s why it was given. 

 

Mark 2:23-3:6 The Message (MSG)

23-24 One Sabbath day he was walking through a field of ripe grain. As his disciples made a path, they pulled off heads of grain. The Pharisees told on them to Jesus: “Look, your disciples are breaking Sabbath rules!”
25-28 Jesus said, “Really? Haven’t you ever read what David did when he was hungry, along with those who were with him? How he entered the sanctuary and ate fresh bread off the altar, with the Chief Priest Abiathar right there watching—holy bread that no one but priests were allowed to eat—and handed it out to his companions?” Then Jesus said, “The Sabbath was made to serve us; we weren’t made to serve the Sabbath. The Son of Man is no lackey to the Sabbath. He’s in charge!”
Doing Good on the Sabbath
3 1-3 Then he went back in the meeting place where he found a man with a crippled hand. The Pharisees had their eyes on Jesus to see if he would heal him, hoping to catch him in a Sabbath infraction. He said to the man with the crippled hand, “Stand here where we can see you.”

4 Then he spoke to the people: “What kind of action suits the Sabbath best? Doing good or doing evil? Helping people or leaving them helpless?” No one said a word.

5-6 He looked them in the eye, one after another, angry now, furious at their hard-nosed religion. He said to the man, “Hold out your hand.” He held it out—it was as good as new! The Pharisees got out as fast as they could, sputtering about how they would join forces with Herod’s followers and ruin him.

As you read Cindi’s thoughts on Sabbath and the Gospel passage. What things do you notice? What are your feelings about Sabbath? About rest? About actually taking the time to stop and let God be in control for awhile? Talk to Jesus about this.

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