How To Sabbath | 1-2-2022

Photo Cred: (1) | Updated: 3/22/2022

It’s peculiar how when I’m supposed to teach on a certain topic, the topic is more relevant for me than for anyone else. Like I need to teach this, so that I learn it even more. God tends to do that a lot.

Sermon Prep

Learn sabbath on my own? Maybe. Teach sabbath to someone else? Now I’m listening. That’s how this one went. Learning to sabbath as I was preparing and then taught this message.

But things were different this time. It had been almost 2 months since my last message, which bombed and I went with an older technique I learned way back in the day mixed with some of the new.

The style here was largely inspired by one of my mentors, Shannon Popp, who showed the power of listening. How what you say doesn’t nearly matter as much as what is said by others in a small group setting. I did that along with some other small group skills that I picked up on when I was running my high school’s First Priority essentially on my own.

Regardless, the format here is largely bordered by quotes from Scripture and less so by concepts found in Scripture. By singling in on a single idea for the night, the conversation we had discovered the truth mutually. Then again, I didn’t actually teach a “sermon” per se on this night.

Only a handful of regulars showed up and it wasn’t enough to justify the typical format of sermon, then small groups. We just jumped into an elongated time of small groups, which led to very thoughtful dialogue on the idea of sabbath.

This happened because nobody wants to go to church the weekend of New Year’s, so I planned accordingly. I figured it was a small crowd and appreciated the change in pace from the rush of the holidays. It was the sermon we needed for the season we found ourselves in together. With that in mind, here were my brief notes from that lowkey night:

Sermon Notes

Intro

  • Recap 2021
  • Pitch “Values” Series
  • Tonight, will be a one-off, topical discussion on sabbath.

Define Sabbath

  • In Hebrew, the word sabbath means to cease or to rest.
  • Originally, sabbath started when God finished creation and marveled at his handiwork.
  • Then, sabbath became a strictly enforced holiday that was observed from Friday evening to Saturday evening.
  • Nowadays, sabbath differs drastically depending on which Christians celebrate it. Here’s some Scriptures on why that is the case:

“Jesus said to them “The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord, even of the Sabbath.””

Mark 2:27-28

“One person values one day over another, another values every day the same. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind. The one who observes the day, observes it for the Lord, and the one who eats, does so with regard to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and the one who does not eat, it is for the Lord that he does not eat, and he gives thanks to God.”

Romans 14:5-6

“Therefore, no one is to act as your judge in regard to food and drink, or in respect to a festival or a new moon, or a sabbath day-things which are only a shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ.”

Colossians 2:16-17
  • Read Hebrews 4:1-11 as a group.

Sabbath Takeaways

  • To sabbath means to remember collectively and to reflect individually on the power of God.
  • Our rest is rooted in the reality of God’s grace and the work that he has done.

Final Thoughts

This was a nice message and a good one in my mind. Had time to breathe and really sink our teeth into the meat of sabbath. I enjoyed it.

It’s funny. After I had already taught this message, I found my favorite longform explanation of sabbath in a book I was also reading at the time. My therapist recommended it and in there the author describes sabbath in such an excellent way. For instance, I loved this quote:

“The Sabbath was a solemn recognition that God had sovereign rights, a public act of appropriation wherein the believing community acknowledged that they owed their life and being to Another. As the memorial day of creation, the Sabbath meant a worship of adoration and thanksgiving for all God’s goodness, for all the Jews were and had. The rest from work was secondary.”

Brennan Manning, Abba’s Child (P. 60)

Like a lot of things, our greatest days are marked by a genuine gratitude for God’s goodness. As the days go on, so too do the platitudes of gratitude for our great God. With that Godspeed and Jesus bless.

Footnotes

  1. https://www.pexels.com/

Waiting

Photo Cred: (1) | Updated: 5/21/2019

This season of my life has been an interesting one. It has not been like previous seasons such as the time of intense spiritual warfare that lasted the duration of my first two years of high school. That was when I led a Christian club called “First Priority” at Eaglecrest High School.

On the other hand, it is also different than the season filled with teaching opportunities where God gave me the ability to lecture on why the Bible can be trusted, as well as teach in my church’s high school youth group on Titus 2:11-15. There was also the occasional spiritual small talk at work or school last year which was amazing to take part in with those who wrestled with certain concepts. Things like the Ontological Argument, “Is Catholicism Christian and can Christians be Catholic?”, and the small discussions concerning the existence of God.

But this season is different. It is different because in my life there is usually something huge I have to overcome and can only do so with the help of God. But this season does not have a mountain to conquer. It has no valley to explore or dark cavern of tribulation to go through, but is simply a time of waiting.

This season is significant because I have not had this much time to breath and look back at what I have gone through in my life. I do not like it that much either because I love to do things and accomplish great things that have purpose, but instead I am sitting on the sidelines as everyone else gets a turn at bat. I have friends who are getting married, having children, moving out, traveling the world, going on missions trips, and so much more. Then here I am just waiting for the next unexpected journey that God has for me.

Probably the funniest part of this season is that I do not know what I am waiting for or what lies ahead in my life! Is it marriage? No, God has told me to wait. Is it a missions trip? No, God has told me that that is neither my calling nor my purpose in life for now. Is it a career? No, God has told me that I am not ready and must first go to college to receive my education.

So what is it that I am so desperate to start? I have no idea. All I can do for now is wait. As I wait on the LORD, this passage comes to mind as I wait for my turn to hit a home run for the LORD:

Luke 16:10 (NKJV)

“He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is also unjust in much.”

Some other passages of scripture that come to mind are Acts 2:42 (NKJV), 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 (NASB), and Isaiah 40:29-31 (NKJV) during this season of preparing for my next adventure with the LORD my God. In the meantime, I have been keeping my mind, body, and most importantly, my spiritual state active. I have been studying and reading about the history of Christianity, working out to maintain my body which God has given me, and staying up to date on current events as the world gets closer to its dying day.

I have also spent a lot more time focused on the five basics of Christian living: reading the Bible, studying the Bible, memorizing portions of the Bible, praying, and sharing the gospel. So as I wait on the LORD during this time in my life, maybe this little blog-post can encourage you to stand strong and press on in your faith as maybe some of you wait on the LORD as well. With that, Godspeed and Jesus bless!

Footnotes

  1. Free stock photos · Pexels
  2. Disclaimer