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Sabbath Rest

By Glenn DeSilva

May 28, 2023


an you remember the last time that you thoroughly enjoyed a good night’s sleep? Last Sabbath I was thoroughly enjoying my early morning rest as I listened to the rainfall outside my bedroom window. Truth be told, the temptation was great to stay curled up, call in sick, and stay snuggled up nice and cozy in my bed. I had the choice of worshipping online with my church family. I’m so glad I resisted the urge to hibernate after a welcomed seven hours of sleep. There is indeed a blessing for the individual who deliberately chooses to worship in a community of faith. Humans made of flesh and blood were created for relationships. My Sabbath began with rainfall and ended with clear skies. A Sabbath evening nature walk organized by the Family Life Department took us on the trail at Tooley Mills in Courtice. It was a calming and relaxing way to close the Sabbath with friends and family. If I would have stayed home, I would have missed a vibrant Sabbath School discussion, youth led praise and worship, special music from Emelie Ruales, meeting new friends at the fellowship meal after service and a host of little blessings I would have missed had I not been at church.
Continuing the topic of rest, Dr. James Rippe, author of the book “High Performance Health” dedicates a chapter (Stop Rest and Heal When Your Body and Spirit Need It) to the important topic of rest. Dr. Rippe shares that active rest has five components: 1. Repair, 2. Sleep, 3. Retreat, 4. Relax, and 5. Active Recovery. Speaking of point five, Rippe adds “We need to approach all rest as active recovery that assist our bodies in getting rid of toxic waste products, whether they be physical or emotional, and enables healing to take place.” Listen to this important life-changing bit of council, “Rest provides our cells time to repair DNA. Consequently, it’s vital that we reduce the stresses caused by nonstop activity, exposure to toxic environments, and destructive habits, such as overeating and smoking in order to give our cells time to repair themselves. Each cell has an enormous capacity to repair itself if we remove enough stress to allow the natural processes to occur. Dr. Rippe then adds the punchline, “Rest helps your body repair its structures at all levels.”
Does modern man, still need to hear the message of rest as provided by a loving Creator? In our non-stop, fast paced world the message of the gift of the Sabbath still needs to be heard. Last Sabbath, we studied the Sabbath School lesson, “The Sabbath and the End.” We were reminded in Monday’s lesson that in the mid-1800s when the evolutionary hypothesis was taking the intellectual world by storm, God raised up a people with a message to remember the Creator and Redeemer of heaven and earth. Every Sabbath is an invitation to acknowledge that we are not accidents because of an explosion in outer space, but we have been created wonderfully designed by a Creator God who desires an intimate relationship with each one of us.
I conclude with the following quote tucked away in the teacher’s comments from last week’s lesson. “In a chaotic, uncertain world, the Sabbath is an oasis of peace. It points us to our Creator, who gives us the assurance of security and safety in His presence. The Sabbath is a place of refuge, a sanctuary in time that descends from heaven to earth each week. It unites us in a common bond with our brothers and sisters in Christ. The Sabbath is the great equalizer. Worshipping together on Sabbath, we recognize anew, we understand afresh, that we are part of the great web of humanity, created by God, and that He has made of one blood all nations” (Acts 17:26). My bed may be tempting on Sabbath mornings, but my God deserves more praise than I can give, and my brothers and sisters need my encouragement and support, and I need the same.