My friend recently recommended a series on the sabbath from the Bridgetown Audio Podcast which I have been listening to for the past few weeks and trying to put into practice. Even so far it has been very helpful in improving my mental and spiritual health, and as a result of this I am able to function better on the other 6 days of the week. (Reduced stress can lengthen your life, so I am getting the time back too. :) To paraphrase the first episode, when I face a challenge in the week, I know I can overcome it because I have been refueled by the previous sabbath, and I have the next sabbath to look forward to.
I'm putting the links to all the episodes here to have them in one place that is easy to share. You can listen from the web page, or download the mp3 file. Hope you find it helpful!
- Rest for Your Soul (January 6, 2019) Part 1 from the series “Sabbath” as part of Practicing the Way. We begin one of the most important practices of Jesus with a big picture look at the restlessness of the human condition, and how it’s exacerbated by the digital age and our consumeristic culture. We contrast that with the restfulness of Jesus, which is more than just a day, but is a spirit we live by all week long.
- Sabbath as Rhythm (January 13, 2019) Part 2 from the series, “Sabbath” as part of Practicing the Way. In the Genesis story, God worked for six days, and then he rested on the Sabbath. In doing so, he built a rhythm into the fabric of creation. But over the years, we’ve lost this dynamic interplay between work and rest, to our own peril. As H.H. Farmer said, “If you go against the grain of the universe you get splinters.” In this teaching, we begin to lay out a biblical theology of Sabbath, noting six ideas: 1. The Sabbath is built into the rhythm of creation, 2. Blessed, 3. Holy, 4. Not a day off, but a day for worship, 5. Both a command and a gift, and 6. A day we are to remember.
- Sabbath as Resistance (January 20, 2019) Part 3 from the series, “Sabbath” as part of Practicing the Way. In a society addicted to the twin drugs of accomplishment and accumulation, the Sabbath is an act of resistance. A way of saying, Enough. Pharaoh and his empire are alive and well. Like the Israelites, we must live into our own Exodus, our own freedom.
- Sabbath & Your Humanity (January 27, 2019) Part 4 from the series, “Sabbath” as part of Practicing the Way. In Sabbath we bring to God our whole selves, believing that he meets us where we are. As we acknowledge our humanity and aches, we create space to encounter the God who longs to meet with us.
- Subversive Sabbath (February 3, 2019) Part 5 from the series, “Sabbath” as part of Practicing the Way. We live in a 24/7 culture of endless productivity, workaholism, distraction, burnout, and anxiety—a way of life to which we've sadly grown accustomed. This tired system of “life” ultimately destroys our souls, our bodies, our relationships, our society, and the rest of God's creation. The whole world grows exhausted because humanity has forgotten to enter into God's rest.
- A Sabbath Meditation (February 10, 2019) Part 6 from the series, “Sabbath” as part of Practicing the Way. As we are learning about Sabbath, this week we create a restful experience in our Sunday gathering. With Psalm 23 as a framework, we explore what it means to rest with God as our Shepherd.
- Stop, Rest, Delight, & Worship (February 17, 2019) Part 7 from the series, “Sabbath” as part of Practicing the Way. As we near the end of our Sabbath series, we finally come to Jesus’ relationship with the seventh day. People often misread Jesus’ teachings on the Sabbath as negative, but nothing could be further from the truth. In Jesus biography, we see him set every seventh day to stop, rest, delight, and worship.