Jesus tells us in Mark that as important as it is, the Sabbath was made for people, not people for the Sabbath. See, the Sabbath is about freedom. Freedom from the curse of the garden. Freedom from the belief that we are in charge of all the things in our life. Freedom from the thought that this world is all there is and all there ever will be for us. Hebrews 4 talks to us about there being rest for us in the fulfilled Kingdom of God. Sabbath lets us look forward to that fulfillment.
I think that we don’t do Sabbath very well. We either make the mistake our biblical elders did and make up rules that force us to “honor” the Sabbath and in doing so puts us subservient to the Sabbath. But again, it’s not us that is made for it. If not that, then we usually abandon it altogether, usually because we believe that we are too busy to actually rest from the extreme importance of our daily lives. But it seems that God wasn’t too busy to rest. And that Christ wasn’t too busy to rest. I wonder if we think our stuff is more important than God’s stuff. Are the activities in our lives so much more important than the activities Christ was attending to?
What does it mean when we feel that every second needs to be filled with activity? What does it say about us when we feel that every minute needs to be filled with accomplishment? Why can’t we be alone with ourselves and with God? We fill our Sabbath with “good” things but we still feel the need to fill it. And in doing so, we really don’t rest.
Spiritual practice is not something that comes easy. We have to practice it. How could we do Sabbath? We could run errands beforehand. Sabbath is not a time for a to-do list. It doesn’t have to be a private practice. We could probably practice it with someone else. We could start small if we have to. Maybe starting off with an entire day at this point in our lives would just be brutal. Start with a few hours. Or an hour. Or 15 minutes. Just start. Practice restful activities. Do things that bring you closer to God and set your distractions away from you. Practice the Sabbath.