“Now the LORD said to Abram, ‘Go from your country…to the land I will show you.'” – Genesis 12:1
“The LORD said to Moses, ‘Why do you cry out to me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward.'” – Exodus 14:15
“…the LORD said to Joshua, ‘Moses my servant is dead. Now therefore arise and go…” – Joshua 1:1, 2
“And He (Jesus) said to them, ‘Go into all the world and proclaim the Gospel to the whole creation.'” – Mark 16:15
Go! Go! Go! Seems an odd message for the Sabbath day meditation. After all the Sabbath is a day of rest, right? Right! It is a day of rest, but not a “day off” from your walk with God. In fact, it is a call to take a break from the regular routine to focus on God and His provision for us. Since the beginning it has been a physical expression and reminder of our dependence on God rather than ourselves. It is divine permission to take a day to focus on our heavenly Father. This is why worship (going to church) was always a part of the Sabbath celebration.
So, I want to remind you of a couple of things at this point on our Lenten journey. First, we all need to include worship in our weekly Sabbath observance. It is true that the Sabbath also supports a certain rhythm of “work and rest” in our lives and that is good for mental, emotional and physical health. We are not designed to go 100 MPH miles, 24hrs a day, 7 days a week. Regular rest is vitally important to our well being. In today’s society many find it difficult to take a break from work and when we do we want to just shut down and “veg out”. All of us need those times but, that is not the whole picture of the Sabbath principle.
The Sabbath is not just stopping work, it is refocusing on God. Genuine Sabbath is synonymous with worship. It is taking a break from our daily routine and work to focus on the God who provides. When Jesus observed Sabbath it involved going to the synagogue…to church.
“And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as was His custom, He went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day…” – Luke 4:16
For Jesus the Sabbath was not shutting down and isolating Himself from others, it was being engaged with God’s people in fellowship and worship.
Secondly, our worship at church should overflow into the streets. In other words, our worship should inspire us “to go”. To refocus on God is to refocus on our mission! Jesus would often get in trouble for ministering to others on the Sabbath day. For Jesus worship was often followed by meeting needs in the community through healings and other ministries.
So, are you making worship a regular part of your week? Are you scheduling a time, in person or online to gather with other believers to remember your commitment to God and His mission for you? And…are you allowing that time of worship to inspire you to reach out into your community in His Name?
“Worship to Go!”