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Sermonette: Nov. 11. 2019


November 11, 2019

This past weekend, my staff and I went to Iowa for a conference. This was the second of three conference road trips we will be taking within the next few weeks. It is only the beginning of November, and already I am tired. It is clear this month will be a crazy one. In the midst of these crazy few weeks, God has been teaching me a lot about what it means to rest in him. Our intern class went to Minneapolis to visit the University of Minnesota Chi Alpha. One of the pastors there was talking about the importance of taking a Sabbath and working from a place a rest. He was telling us about how their students are constantly going and never taking a break. While he was talking, I was examining my own life. How many times do I do the same thing? I am constantly thinking about what is next or how can get the most day in a day. Even while I write this, I am thinking about all the things I need to do. Since our trip to the cities, God has been bringing this subject of the Sabbath back to my mind.

While we were in Iowa, the theme of one of the sessions was being filled up by God. This theme aligned with what God had been teaching me. While I was praying, I felt God telling me “you have been running to catch up since the beginning of the semester. While you did this, you were running ahead of me. You are doing work for me, but you are too rushed in the process. You have to learn to walk with me instead of running ahead of me.” As I was reflecting on this, I was realizing how true this was. Our society has the motto of “work harder and you’ll be more successful,” but this isn’t always true. In the song “Three” by the band Sleeping at Last, the lyrics say this: “Now I only want what's real; To let my heart feel what it feels; Gold, silver, or bronze hold no value here; Where work and rest are equally revered.” These lyrics sum up God’s view on working hard. Though he wants us to work hard for him, he also calls us to rest. The Bible shows us the importance of rest. When God created the Earth, he rested on the seventh day. Even a God who doesn’t need rest decided to take a break. If God rested, then how much more do we need to rest?

Our society doesn’t know how to rest. What does a Sabbath even look like? While our team was in the cities, the pastor there talked about doing three things on your Sabbath: contemplating, doing things you enjoy, and not doing paid and unpaid work (things like laundry, cleaning, etc.) These things really challenged me, how many times do I say it’s my day off, but I do just as much work as I do while I’m in the office? My definition of a Sabbath has really been challenged in these last couple of weeks. Especially with having such a crazy month, I have had to fight for the time I spend with Jesus and rest in him.

So I challenge you, look critically at the time you take for a Sabbath. Are you taking the time to rest? Are you working from a place of rest rather than working for the weekend? Seek God and ask him to help you set a time of Sabbath. Stop going to other places for rest and go to the one who created rest. Everyone’s Sabbath will look different, but I encourage you to understand how you rest and to incorporate it into your week. The same pastor from the University of Minnesota told us he read this quote in a book: “Everyday should be like Christmas morning, the preparation is done all you have to do is just be.” How can you make your Sabbath look like Christmas morning every week?


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