Sabbath

Sabbath

Today’s Scripture Selection: Isaiah 58:13-14

It is wise counsel with a promise attached:

“If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the Lord’s Day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words…”

If…then what?

“…then you will find your joy in the LORD, and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.”

As a person of faith – who wouldn’t want that?

And yet, so often, we find other things to do than “honor the Sabbath and keep it holy.”

We have many reasons at hand to offer:

  • There is just too much to get done in six little days
  • It’s a chance to “catch up” on all those pesky household or work tasks
  • We can get a “jump start” on the week
  • We can get a little further “ahead” while the other guy or gal is just “wasting” time

On and on it goes.

But the Scripture holds out that simple principle – and that deep promise – honor God; honor God’s holy time – and you will “find your joy in the LORD” in a way that others cannot.

As a member of the clergy, I actually “work” on the Lord’s Day.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t try and find “Sabbath” time on a regular basis.

I need it.  My family needs it.  I even believe that my congregation needs me to keep it – so that I am rested and able to be a good pastor.

But, as good as those reasons are – the main reason I try to find Sabbath time is that God says I should.

And that is reason enough, don’t you think?

Prayer: Thank you Lord, for the blessing of the Sabbath.  AMEN.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. “Elpis” is the Greek word for “expectant hope.” He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and a member of Spiritual Directors International. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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