Shabbat Shalom

There is something about a hard work week that leaves me crashing into the arms of the weekend and truly appreciating the rest. I heard a lecturer recently speak on “devaluing the currency of success” where he spoke about the concept that “if everything is made equally valuable, then nothing is truly valuable”. There is a parallel there that made me understand the need for a “special day” — not for meeting some kind of legal obligation to meet God’s requirements — but to establish that wonderful feeling of “returning home” of “peace and rest” after a week’s hard work.

When Jews say “Shabbat shalom – Sabbath peace” to family and friends after a draining work week, we mean far more than “have a peaceful and restful day.” What we are really saying is: May you be restored to wholeness on the blessed Sabbath!

It seems that our life as a Christian is meant to be hard and dedicated work that ends with us totally spent, falling into the peace and rest of our Savior — whether we are talking about a single day and night, a week and sabbath, a year and lent, or an earthly life and heaven.

Our normal, hard work — out there in the midst of the world as ambassadors of the Holy Spirit — is meant to drive us to that point where we must be restored to wholeness — where our cup must be refilled to overflowing.

In fact, if we are just “playing it safe” or “testing in our complacency”, we will find ourselves devaluing these times of special rest and restoration — because we have made them all to be the same by resting when we should have been working.

My encouragement is to not fear the exhaustion, to not fear the spent nature of the work at hand, to make no excuse that we might come to the church every single week rushing to that altar time after time again to be washed, to be filled, to be restored yet again.

I have heard said that the close we come to God, the more we can see our own sin. So shouldn’t it be much more than the “I want to give my life to Jesus” folks rushing the altar each and every week? Shouldn’t it be just as much (and even moreso!) the “old saints” and “the elders” and the church leadership falling on their faces repenting openly and publicly of even the smallest sin or weakness and giving God glory?!!!

And as we approach the season of Lent — might we consider the sweat rest of turning off Social Media, turning off divisive News Media, maybe even putting our phones and devices away for a time period to give ourselves time to rest and be restored by the peace of disconnection from the world and a return to God.

May our work in this life have us longing for that final Shabbat Shalom, even as we rest in Him each and every day. Amen.

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