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Sabbath Rest

The Upper Room Devotion for Wednesday, May 22, 2024, was written by Ricardo Alvelo of Florida.



8 Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work. 10 But the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work—you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and consecrated it. 12 Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. 13 You shall not murder. 14 You shall not commit adultery. 15 You shall not steal. 16 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. 17 You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor. 18 When all the people witnessed the thunder and lightning, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking, they were afraid and trembled and stood at a distance, 19 and said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, or we will die.” 20 Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid; for God has come only to test you and to put the fear of him upon you so that you do not sin.”

Exodus 20:8-20 NRSV


Author's Thoughts

Growing up, practicing sabbath rest for my family looked like slow Saturday mornings full of pancakes, eggs, bacon, family talks, and television, which I would change to cartoons if I had control of the remote. As a kid I thought sabbath days were the best because I could relax with not a care in the world. I never even thought about the homework I needed to complete.

I wonder why it's so easy to lose sabbath moments like these as adults. It's not as if we cannot have them. With intention, we can create a rhythm of work and rest, devoting it all to God. Isn't it interesting that in the act of Creation we see God working and resting? God set the standard and called on the Israelites to follow suit. Practicing a rhythm of work and sabbath rest expresses our obedience to God and our trust that God will provide for us. In short, sabbath is worshiping and relying on God.


Author's Prayer

Dear God, help us to work well and rest well, just as you worked and rested in creating the world. Amen.


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