A Sunday Kind of Love

12:47 PMHeather

My Granny used to tell me that the older I got, the faster time would go.  My twenty-something self scoffed at her, but chose to nod and smile politely at her nonetheless.  Listen, twenty-something self -- you should have paid more attention.  And asked more questions.  Because at forty-something now, I wish I had taken the time to glean more wisdom from Granny.  Like asking her how to manage this fleeting time.  How to make the most of the years that fly by--even when the days may drag.  If only I had asked her what she wishes she had known at MY age and what she might do differently.  

I have a feeling that the book she gave me just a few years before she died might be an indication as to her regrets.  It was called Don't Sweat the Small Stuff:  And it's All Small Stuff.  

Oh the irony of this gift from this giver.  This book from this woman, who managed to make an art form from micromanaging.  I distinctly remember our first time to host Christmas at our house, as newlyweds.  Granny leaned over my husband's shoulder as he made the gravy, giving directives as if he were performing life saving surgery.

I think Granny might just say that she wished she had learned more about living on the unforced rhythms of grace.  Believing His grace was big enough that she could simply float in it, be changed by it, extend it.  Be moved by it so that she wouldn't sweat the small stuff.  

In other words, I think, while my Granny did love the Lord and was a prayer warrior like none other, I don't think she ever learned Sabbath living.  Oh, she practiced Sunday rituals like a boss, and we were all made to follow suit.  But she never learned the secret of a daily life that found rest in her Savior. She never leaned the freedom of a Sunday kind of love with Jesus.

Perhaps those tendencies that I inherit from her are the very reason I am so moved by this passage.  (Yes, the one I keep referring to in this blog series).

Are you tired?  Worn out?  Burned out on religion?  Come to me.  Get away with me and you'll recover your life.  I'll show you how to take a real rest.  Walk with me and work with me -- watch how I do it.  Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.  I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.  Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly.
Matthew 10:28-30 MSG

Yesterday, I explained how I stumbled on the revelation that all that God has been teaching me can be summarized with the idea of Sabbath living.  So, as I said, my analytical mind dove into the Wycliffe Bible Dictionary to better understand Sabbath.

Okay.  Mind officially blown.

Because as I kept reading, I saw how the Wycliffe explanations for Sabbath perfectly align with the above Scripture.

1. "In keeping with the purpose of Sabbath, burden bearing was forbidden."

...I won't lay anything heavy or ill fitting on you. (MSG)

...take my yoke upon you, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light. (NIV)

2. "The Jewish Sabbath was also to be observed with holy assembling, doubling daily offerings and placing of show bread in the holy place.  This made it a day of gladness, for it provided an opportunity to put aside the duties of life and concentrate on the spiritual activities for the refreshing of the soul."

...get away with me and you'll recover your life.  I'll show you how to take a real rest...you'll learn to live freely and lightly.  (MSG)

...you will find rest for your souls. (NASB)

3. "For Israel, the Sabbath commemorated God's creation and deliverance from Egypt.  For the believer in Christ, the Sabbath rest of God in creation is made an illustration of the rest into which the believer enters in the new creation when he 'also hath ceased from his own work' by trusting in Christ."

...come to me...wear my yoke...and let me teach you.  (TLB)

...are you tired?  Worn out?  Burned out on religion?  Come to me.  Get away with me.  Walk with me and work with me...watch how I do it.  Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.  I won't lay anything heavy or ill fitting on you.  (MSG)

...come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden...take my yoke upon you.  (ESV)

I have said in this blog series that Sabbath is the pattern set for man to follow.

The Old Testament practice of Sabbath and the commands for Sabbath keeping are all foreshadowing of the most freeing truth we could grasp when it comes to Sabbath.

In Christ, we can find the very definition of the Hebrew shabbat, which means to cease or desist.  

Jesus came so that we can cease from our striving.  So that we can desist from our doing.

Jesus is our Sabbath.  And I don't mean our Sunday focus.  I don't mean our once-a-week worship and nap time.  I mean our daily pattern of living, our freedom to live without burden bearing and to find refreshing for our souls and to be delivered and freed from our own works.

When we grasp Jesus as our Sabbath, we can throw out our busyness and forsake our fast paced culture...we can cling to the most relevant principle for today's chaotic world...the idea of REST for our soul despite any circumstance.

Legalism and ritual lead to a religion that burns you out.

This is not what Christ came to enforce.

My Women of Faith study Bible says, "The finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross makes it possible for you to enter his rest.  There's no need to struggle, no need to fill your life with busy work.  You can rest in Christ."

But how?  We women, particularly, tend to be doers by nature.  People pleasers.  Jugglers of all things home and family and work.  We who grew up in the church tend to carry the burden of rules and duty and activity and expectations.

So, how do we move from asking what are we doing here, with all these plates to spin...to the question of asking where we stay?  And how do we stay and yet still keep up with all that must be accomplished?

How can glean what I think my Granny never realized until it was too late?  How can learn to not sweat the small stuff?  To realize my angst of obligation and activity and deadlines and tasks and to be FREED to experience a soul rest.  To find a refreshment that God intended for my every day life through the gift of Christ?  Christ -- whose life and death and resurrection blew open the idea of Sabbath from a weekly ritual to a way of daily life, living freely and lightly?

Because Christ promises that his yoke is easy and his burden is light.  He assures us that he does not lay anything heavy or ill fitting on us.  His heart beat for us to find rest for our souls through the unforced rhythms of grace even as we walk through a busy life and crazy world.  Even there.  To find the miracle of Sabbath living because we have thrown off unbelief about the rest Jesus offers.  

How indeed?  Who can teach us this way of walking in freedom? 

I think my Granny could have learned a lot from the woman we are about to study.

Our heroine and role model for this Sabbath way of life is Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus.

Mary is our forerunner in Sabbath living.

She has much to teach us.  May we lean in to listen well in the days ahead.

Blog post #5 in a series on Sabbath Living: the Sacred Practice of Sitting at the Feet of Jesus.

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