By Kayla Lutes Features Editor
Right in the middle of the list of the Ten Commandments stands the directive, “Remember the Sabbath and keep it Holy” (Ex. 20:8).
The Sabbath gets a bad rap as a day where you’re supposed to sit in a lacy dress on a wooden pew with a Bible in your lap for hours on end, contemplating nothing but the weight of your sin and God’s grace and holiness. While this scenario (or at least pieces of it) has its place on the Sabbath, I’ve gradually come to learn that the Sabbath is a gift. It is a bit of grace woven into the rhythm of my week.
In a sermon entitled, “Rest, Revive and Remember,” Pete Wilson talks about the Sabbath as a day to rest in the love of the Lord, do something that revives you and remember Christ’s sacri-fice for you. Using the three “R”s as a practical application, I’ve come to appreciate a day set aside to exist in the knowledge of God’s love.
“The Sabbath is a day I remind myself that I am not a machine, I’m not,” Wilson said in his ser-mon.
I’ve been battling a personal struggle with a sense of duty that has inevitably filled me with guilt for my entire life and discovered that being intentional about the Sabbath is the best way to guard against that kind of thinking. It is an act of faith, putting aside work with the knowledge that God is in control and that the world turns just fine if I don’t contribute to it for a day.
That’s not to say that one should spend the Sabbath doing nothing. I spend it doing things that either fill me so that I can love well for the rest of my week or doing things to love others that I don’t have time for in the busyness of the rest of the week.
I’ll admit that this can be pretty hard. Especially as a student, the temptation to chink away at the workload piling over the week is strong on Sundays. One thing that helps to keep my Sab-bath from getting hijacked is the fact that the library is closed, which somehow makes me feel better about not studying. as if the whole building stands in solidarity with me.
What I’ve found that helps the most when tempted to reach for a textbook or open a blank word document for that looming paper is the simple reminder that I am loved because I exist and not because of one thing I’ve done.
In practicing the Sabbath, I’ve come to understand the gift that it is. There is so much peace, grace and love that fills a day reflecting on all that God has done and all that I cannot accomplish on my own.
As Wilson said in his sermon, “When you set aside a day to remember that you are loved, just because you exist, what you’ll begin to discover is that so much of the things you throw your ef-fort to in life are trying to achieve something that you already have. If you can rest in that, it will be a game changer.”