Ezekiel 3:16-6:14, Hebrews 4, Psalm 104:24-35, Proverbs 26:27
Sabbath Rest for the People of God
Moses’ job was to lead the people of God from the bondage of slavery in Egypt to the Sabbath Rest of the Promised Land. The movement in creation was from chaos to Sabbath (Genesis 1).
We are being called by Jesus out of an even greater chaotic bondage to sin but to an even greater Sabbath Rest in the Promised Land—“the mystic sweet communion with those whose rest is won.”(1) God is calling and inviting us to press into the divine fellowship of the Holy Trinity.
As given to the people of old, the warning for us now is to renounce an “evil, unbelieving heart.” God is described throughout the book of Hebrews as “the living God.” He is not a religious idol or a concept or philosophy. God is alive, speaking to us, calling to us, and inviting us into a personal relationship with the Father, through the Son, in the Holy Spirit.
The people of God of old failed where we can succeed! They hardened their hearts to the promise in the very moment God was purposing to bless them. We are still hearing His voice today. The Living God is speaking through His Word and Spirit. Take your lesson from the people of old and press into the Sabbath Rest of God. So long as it is Today, encourage one another to stay tender-hearted toward the Lord.
In this way, we come to “share in Christ”. The King James Version says we have become “partakers of Christ”! What is the ultimate Sabbath Rest for the People of God?
It is a resting from our labor in Christ. As we come into the presence of the living God in a worship service, we are being addressed by the Holy Spirit through the liturgy of the Word to press into communion. The aim is that we would be willing to be led into the throne room of Lord Sabbath—The Living God who has rested from His creative work and is beckoning us to join Him.
Today, are we responsive to the call? Or are the occupations and distractions of this world preventing us from truly engaging with the Holy?
The Rev. Charlie Holt
St. Mark’s Episcopal Church
(1) – Samuel John Stone, Hymn, “The Church’s One Foundation”