The Rest of God by Mark Buchanan
Paul’s words in Romans 14:5-8 and Col 2:16-23 still ring true today: Don’t let anyone judge you with respect to the Sabbath; some may practice it, others may not; let each person do so by faith and as unto the Lord. He also instructed the Corinthians to “be careful that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to [others].” (1 Cor 8:9) For me, however, the act of leaving the daily work grind and resting before the Lord one day out of seven is a priceless and necessary gift from God that I ignore at my own peril.
I’ve read several book’s about the Christian Sabbath, each with a unique thought to contribute to my understanding on this teaching. This book is easily understood by most believers, and it’s the most versatile one that I’ve read on this subject –
it’s written by a pastor and professor, a husband and father, and a good writer; it’s also filled with great theology that’s applied to real-life situations. My wife and I read a chapter a week, coming together on our day of rest/worship to discuss it but also live out the principles found within it.
What are Buchanan’s thoughts on the matter?
[tweet_box float=”right” width=”40%” design=”box_14_at” pic_url=”http://gracelivedout.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Mark-Buchanan.jpg” author=”Mark Buchanan”]Sabbath allows us to live more fully into our status as free people, people released from the grueling, incessant demands of taskmasters.[/tweet_box]
[tweet_dis]The Christian Sabbath: a day of rest to engage uniquely with the God of life and all that gives life & refreshment;[/tweet_dis]a day of reconnection, remembrance, revival, refreshment, and refocusing; a holy day, a separate “24 hour period” of the week, given to Christ’s followers that they might live a holy, rest-filled life. [tweet_dis]The Sabbath involves stopping the “to do list” and the Taskmaster’s drumbeat of “it’s never enough.” [/tweet_dis]Further, for me and my family, [tweet_dis]the tone of my Sabbath is set by the Lord of the Sabbath, who went about doing good, even on the Sabbath, and who desires mercy not sacrifice. [/tweet_dis]Matthew 12:7-12; Acts 10:38.
During Jesus’ day, the Sabbath, which “was meant to serve people, ended up demanding tribute from them” (219); the heavy religious yoke of their day had made their lives weary and burdened (Matt 11:28). Naturally, Jesus came against such a system, which made the religious leaders, who were really protecting their systems of power, conclude that Jesus’ Sabbath-keeping was really Sabbath-breaking. Ha! “People who knew nothing of rest, accused a man whose every word and gesture came from rest.” (219)
[tweet_dis]Jesus’ breaking of the religious rules of his day was actually his keeping of God’s “rule” of love and life[/tweet_dis] that allowed his followers to enter The Rest of God. I urge you to enter Mark’s thoughts on this topic; they may very well help you in your everyday walk with Christ.