As a pastor, one of the most challenging things to do is to observe the Sabbath. The command to do so is one of the top ten ordinances written by God’s hand to the people. Ancient communities took people outside of the city walls and stoned offenders for not taking the time instructed by the Creator. That is how serious honoring Sabbath is to God and the people. The time offers us a break to move from the mundane into a time of special attention to rest in God’s arms. Psalm 23 reminds us that He leads us beside still waters. The Holy leads us to a place of quiet.
One of the things with which parishioners struggle is understanding that Sunday is usually not a pastor’s Sabbath. Clergy work on what others perceive as a day of rest. Faithful adherence to maintaining a particular time must occur some other day. We must remain diligent in seeking out time that pulls into close relations with God. We must observe a day of rest and renewal, a chance to refuel our spiritual tank.
We must define what it means to take time to grow closer to God. It is not catching up on chores around the house or any other honey-dos. True Sabbath means opening ourselves up to the possibilities of hope and rest, all in the presence of the Holy One. In other words, are there things that you do that bring you joy? For me, I love to put together puzzles. I find peace and a sense of quietness in my spirit. I reflect on all kinds of things, but eventually, I realize that I rest beside still waters. I do not know what brings you closer to God, but whatever it is, follow it with your whole heart.