Pastor Chris Tweitmann
Rest. Relaxation. Recreation. These three words encompass our deepest longings as human beings. And yet these three words, in the thick of our chaotic and busy world, are orientations that most of us struggle to actualize.
We are working longer and harder. The average workday is longer—up from 8 to 10 hours. The typical workweek tends to be six days instead of five. Getting two days off in a row is now considered a fringe benefit in today’s workplace!
Our lives are busier. Our calendars are jam-packed around the clock. This is true now, even on the weekends. If we’re not working, Saturday and Sunday have become periods of intense activity as we use these days to catch up on our lives (the house, our bills, our relationships). Our weekends are so frenetic that for some of us, it is actually a relief to get back to the regular routine on Monday morning…
We never slow down to rest. How many of us have more vacation time accrued at work than actually taken? In the ledger of life, how many of us have logged more hours working overtime despite a deficit in our sleep? How many of us need one or two days to decompress before we can actually relax and enjoy time off when and if we take it?
The daily pace of the human race has accelerated so much, we have little time left to sleep. Relying on coffee, energy drinks, and other stimulants, we power through the day and long into the night. In advanced nations like ours, the average amount of sleep is just 6.5 hours. In the last century that’s a 25% drop-off!
This is not the life we were meant to live as human beings. Christ didn’t save us through the Cross and the Resurrection just so we could end up working ourselves to death. Last Sunday, we were introduced to the deeper meaning of Jesus’ invitation to come to Him and find rest. We began to consider God’s gift of the Sabbath. Together we made a purposeful decision to stop and to enter into a deeper understanding of rest as the Lord intended and made possible for us.
Join us this Sunday as we reflect on how both our need and our opportunity to rest have been hardwired from the very beginning into the very fabric of creation. As we go back to the opening pages of Genesis, we will witness how our Creator brings order out of chaos and establishes a rhythm for life. All of life operates on rhythms etched into the canvas of creation. There is a rhythm in the way day fades into night, and night gives rise into morning. There is a rhythm as the vibrant growth of spring and summer gives way to the necessary dormancy of fall and winter. There is the tidal rhythm between land and sea. And as we’ll learn there is a preestablished, divinely ordained, rhythm to our work and our rest.
So, let us come and discover the rhythm of the Sabbath. Instead of going against the grain of God’s design for our lives, let’s get into the groove built into our being and into this world. Keeping the rhythm of the Sabbath is the linchpin of a life lived in sync with our Creator. It is an essential component of living a life in Christ where we truly flourish.