Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Sabbatical Day / Year / Every 7?

Each year I try to take a Sabbatical/vacation.  For about a week I get away, sometimes alone, to breath, clear my mind and to pray.  This year is no different.  I again will be trekking a section of the Appalachian Trail for a week in September from Davenport Gap to Sam's Gap... maybe beyond (about 100 miles).  I have a few books, and plenty of prayer time slated for the time on the trail.  The word Sabbatical comes from our Lord's command to take a period of rest, a Sabbath as part of our relationship with Him.
The Sabbath Day is the seventh day of the week, a day of rest for the Hebrew people under the Mosaic Law. But the Law also spoke of a sabbatical year. Leviticus 25:1–7 provides instructions for the sabbath year that was to be observed after the Israelites moved into the Promised Land.
The Sabbath year is also instructed in Scripture.  Leviticus 25:3–5 explains what the sabbath year was: “For six years sow your fields, and for six years prune your vineyards and gather their crops. But in the seventh year the land is to have a year of sabbath rest, a sabbath to the Lord. Do not sow your fields or prune your vineyards. Do not reap what grows of itself or harvest the grapes of your untended vines. The land is to have a year of rest.” Every seventh year, then, was to be a time of no planting or pruning of crops. The Sabbath (meaning “rest”) was applied to a time of rest for farmland (this is also mentioned in Exodus 23:10–11).  Every seven years, I try to take an extended sabbatical time... maybe in the form of a focused life change, course work, biblical study, etc.  Something that would strengthen my relationship with Christ.
Jesus also clarified for us that we are to rest in Him.  This is good news... that we rest eternally in our salvation relationship with Jesus.... "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath" (Mark 2:27), Jesus was restating the principle that the Sabbath rest was instituted to relieve man of his labors, just as He came to relieve us of our attempting to achieve salvation by our works. We no longer rest for only one day, but forever cease our laboring to attain God’s favor. Jesus is our rest from works now, just as He is the door to heaven, where we will rest in Him forever.

 Well, Moses gave warning of what might happen if the sabbath day/year were not obeyed in Leviticus 26:33-35...  and it was not a blessing.  I believe that the joy of a relationship with Christ is an every day faith based resting place.... there is nothing that we can face that we can not trust God with.  In addition, a regular weekly, yearly and every seven years is just a bonus time to enjoy that relationship with my Christ.

Regardless of the time taken, the truth can not be avoided.  God wants to be with me, and I want to take time to be with just him too...  Thanks for your prayers and hope you will enjoy a fresh sabbatical soon.. if not this Sunday.