“This Sabbath is then kept holy unto the Lord, when men, after a due preparing of their hearts, and ordering of their common affairs beforehand, do not only observe an holy rest all the day from their own works, words, and thoughts about their worldly employments and recreations; but also are taken up the whole time in the public and private exercises of his worship, and in the duties of necessity and mercy.” — Westminster Confession
“A holy rest” is usually a hard concept to grasp. When we rest we often feel one of two things:
- There is something I should be doing; or
- I’m just lazy!
But rest is not the same thing as inactivity.
Rest is really different activity … rest is preparation for activity. The rabbis teach that a day of rest is supposed to be a day of distinction: a day that’s so different from the other six days of the week. Creating this day of distinction requires a lot of serious thought to prepare (“a due preparing of their hearts,” as the Confession says).
We need to take time to be OFF. You and I are not wired to be ON all the time. So as you contemplate a Sabbath day of rest for your life, think about this —
- OFF makes ON better.
- OFF helps ON work longer and stronger.
- OFF gives us a chance to appreciate ON more.
- OFF trusts God will bless ON.
I’m going to be OFF tomorrow, so that I can be better ON to start the week.