FirstPres Anderson

summer 2023

Pastor Dennis Tedder

Cecil Hook notes that “In the first three [of the 10 Commandments], God says, “I love you & want your full fellowship.” In the 5th through the 10th, [God] says, “Love & respect each other.” The 4th command, “Remember the Sabbath & keep it holy,”… is the pivotal command. It points… — to God & [humans]. “Remember your spiritual relationship with me & remember the dignity & purpose of people.”  

Genesis attests that after creating everything, GOD needed rest!  God wants time for us to rest & digest so deeply that God makes Sabbath HOLY. 

Eugene H. Peterson:  The most striking thing about keeping the Lord’s Day is that it begins by not doing anything. The Hebrew word, shabbat, which we take over as is, untranslated, into our language, simply means, “Quit; stop; take a break.” Whatever you are doing, stop it. Whatever you are saying, shut up. Sit down & take a look around you. Don’t do anything. Don’t say anything. Fold your hands. Take a deep breath.”

Honoring Sabbath can promote health of body, mind, & soul:  Instead of constant go-go, go sit a spell with the Spirit.

Sabbath can rankle & rub us 21st century folks the wrong way, can’t it? Who is God to command that we shabbat?  But in our state of information & opinion overload, decision fatigue, workaholism, & non-stop entertainment – holy rest is what we desperately need. 1600 years ago, Augustine had it right when he prayed:  You have made us for yourself, O Lord, & our heart is restless until it rests in you.

Through the ages, the saints KNOW that without times of intentional silence & stillness there is no inspiration, no God-attentive, God-responsive, GOD-BREATHED (In-Spired) life. IF we keep Sabbath:  stop running around long enough to see what GOD has done & is doing; shut up long enough to hear what GOD has & is saying, Jesus, the Lord of Sabbath, gives rested, reoriented hearts, recharged to honor God & to live holy lives.