Monday, September 10, 2012

On Rest as Worship

I attempt, with woeful inconsistency, to make my life a song of living worship. With each action and deed, I want to create a melody of grace, encouraging others and praising Christ. I want each of my words, whether directed toward the Lord himself or to my fellow humans, to give God glory. This is nigh impossible, and I oftentimes feel the plight of Paul as described in his letter to the Romans. I do that which I did not want to do and fail to do that which I should. 

Such is the reality for the Christian, and Christ, in his abundant grace and overwhelming river of mercy, forgives and renews us to continue our pursuit in spite of ourselves. The Holy Spirit, our great aid, reminds us of our loving Father and his desire to use us as vessels. The Scriptures affirm the Spirit's assurance, and they together pull our focus anew, placing it once again on Christ, allowing us to pursue our living worship once more.

In 2012, I have found the Lord teaching me about worship as rest.  I believe, wholeheartedly and with the great conviction of personal experience, that rest, particularly taken in the form of Sabbath, is a humbling and useful ways in which to honor and worship the Lord.

Sabbath, a 24-hour period without "work" (or "toil", as I would describe it), is a means by which I do three essential things for my faith. First and foremost, it is the manner in which I recalibrate my WILL to surrender to God's leading, in that I refuse to do the labor I want to do in favor of actively resting and adopting a model first displayed by God himself. Second, it is the manner in which I recognize my pride and strike it down as my week begins. I feel that I am so important and that my tasks are so essential; yet the Sabbath forces my acceptance of two things: (a) that the world continues without my accomplishing "x, y, and z" and (b) that in my frailty I actually need rest to function. Thirdly, this day of rest reignites my desire to work. Having enjoyed existence of leisure, encountered my own weakness, and resisted labor that I might have done, I am actually excited about undertaking life's many snares and demands with vigor, giving thanks to God for the very ability to work.

Inasmuch as this practice has been difficult, the Lord has used it in powerful ways. This year, Sundays became a great deal more wonderful, and the next one is only a few days away!

Thanks so much for reading!

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