“occupation” Session 5:
Keeping the Sabbath
Read pages 183-199 of Garden City before beginning this lesson.
Sabbath as Celebration
According to John Mark Comer, “Work and rest live in a symbiotic relationship. If you don’t learn how to rest well, you will never learn how to work well (and vice versa.)” As people created in the image of God, our model for understanding how to live this life well is by being imitators of God. We work because God works. Likewise, we rest because God rests. Sabbath was created, not as an escape from work, but as a means to enjoy the fruit of our labor—to delight in God and the life He has given us. Remember that the Hebrew word for rest has to do with celebration.
1. When was the last time that you took a day to celebrate —to look back over your week of work and just enjoy the view?
2. If you haven’t had a true Sabbath in a while, take one! Take a day to turn off your phone, close your laptop, and focus on the people in front of you. This is not a day just to do chores or to shop or to catch-up. Sabbath is about enjoying what God has given you already.
Sabbath as Worship
According to Genesis 1 - God blessed the Sabbath and made it holy. The Sabbath is intended to be a day of rest as well as a day of worship. When it comes to Sabbath, use these two words as a grid to determine whether or not you are using this day the way that God intended. Is is rest? Is it worship? Remember that Sabbath is not the same as a day off. Think of the Sabbath as a weekly holiday. You have to prepare to enjoy it.
Sabbath is intended to be a blessing, but if it is not kept “holy,” or set apart from our other “work,” we will reap the consequences of the curse—fatigue, anxiety, strained relationships, etc. In the same way that we can worship God by the way that we work, we are also called to worship God in our rest.
1. Think about your days off. Do you take time to rest? Do you take time to worship?
2. Discuss how you can prepare to take this kind of regular Sabbath with your small group.