God created people to live in a rhythm of working and resting. After creating the world, God looked around and saw that “it was very good!” (Gen 1:31). God did not just cease from his labor; he stopped and enjoyed what he had made. The idea behind Sabbath is to experience joy in what God has done.

==> Does the word “Sabbath” conjure up images of rest or joy in your mind? What images does Sabbath bring to your mind?

Right from the beginning of the Bible story it seems that a pattern of not only daily work and rest but also weekly work and rest is laid down.

Read Genesis 1:26-2:3.
An interesting fact about these verses is that the first thing in all of creation that is made holy is not a person or even an object. Rather, it is a day. Genesis does not say why God makes the seventh day holy, merely that God does make it holy.

==> In your mind, what makes a day holy? Do you have other days that you celebrate as holy (birthdays, anniversaries, etc?) What does a holy day look like to you?

Read Exodus 20:8-11

The first part of God’s command regarding the Sabbath calls for ceasing labor one day a week. In the context of the ancient world, the Sabbath was unique to Israel.No other ancient people had the privilege of resting one day in seven. At the same time, such a rest required an extraordinary trust in God’s provision. Six days of work had to be enough to plant crops, gather the harvest, carry water, spin cloth, and draw sustenance from creation. While Israel rested one day every week, the encircling nations continued to forge swords, feather arrows, and train soldiers. Israel had to trust God not to let a day of rest lead to economic and military catastrophe.

==>We face the same challenge today to trust in God’s provision today. If you follow God’s commandment to rest one day a week, will you be able to hold a job, keep the house clean, prepare meals, mow the lawn, or complete your other responsibilities? Do you trust God to make this work for you?

==> What does Sabbath look like for us today? What are some Sabbath practices in your life? What practices would enable you to keep the Sabbath holy?

==>Do any of these quotations apply to your view of Sabbath? How has your view of Sabbath changed?

“He could take on anything and everything, it seemed, rather than leave himself time to reflect on his dissatisfaction with his life and what he might do about it.” ―Claire Tomalin writing about Charles Dickens

“Sometimes we feel that the busier we are, the more important we are–as though our busyness defines our worth…We can spend a lifetime whirling about at a feverish pace, checking off list after list of things that in the end really don’t matter. That we do a lot may not be so important. That we focus the energy of our minds, our hearts, and our souls on those things of eternal significance–that is essential.”- Joseph B. Wirthlin

“The busyness of your life leaves little room for the source of your life” – Ann Voskamp “Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life” – Dolly Parton

“Anybody can observe the Sabbath, but making it holy surely takes the rest of the week” – Alice Walker

“If you keep the Sabbath, you start to see creation not as somewhere to get away from your ordinary life, but a place to frame an attentiveness to your life” – Eugene H. Peterson
“Our great-grandfathers called it the holy Sabbath day. Our grandfathers called it The Sabbath. Our fathers called it Sunday. Now we just all it The Weekend” – David L. Herring

“I think the church is often a culprit in the busyness, especially in the evangelical church. Again, it’s part of being Americans. Part of being evangelicals too is that we’re highly activist. We are always diving in, willing to solve problems, and again there’s a lot good there. But we also need the theological balance that the Kingdom is not ours to bring or ours to create.” ―Kevin DeYoung

Source: theologyofwork.org