“Then he said to them, ‘The sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the sabbath.’”
In this text, we find the Pharisees trying to trap Jesus through their selective enforcement of the commandments. They are testing him to see if he is obeying the commandment to not work on the Sabbath. He responds with brilliance saying that they are missing the point. Rather than being weighed down by the law, the law is supposed to free us. The commandment about Sabbath was intended to encourage rest. The rest we are talking about isn’t just the stay-in-pajamas-on-a-Saturday kind of rest. We are encouraged to rest from the breakneck pace of the world.
Our world tells us that we are what we produce. We are not worthy if we do not produce enough, accomplish enough, or do enough. But God says, “You are enough. I will love you regardless.” Author Barbara Brown Taylor says this about Sabbath: “Test the premise that you are worth more than you can produce – that even if you spent one whole day of being good for nothing you would still be precious in God’s sight.”
With the way our world is focused on doing and accomplishing, it is easy for our spiritual lives to get distracted by that. We can become caught in patterns of busy-ness even in our relationships with Christ. Consider what it would mean for you to truly rest in God’s presence. Rest in God’s affirmation and love. Rest in the truth that you don’t have to do anything or accomplish anything to earn more of God’s attention or love.
God of the Sabbath, you have created us with love, care, and intentionality. Yet, we have not always believed that. We get caught up in the rhythm of the world, going until we reach exhaustion. Center us on you. Remind us that we are loved and there is nothing we can do to earn your love. We seek to rest in your presence. Amen.