Exodus 35:2–3, Leviticus 25:2–5, Matthew 12:1–9
What recharges you? An extrovert will be charged up by being with people. An introvert charges by being alone. Both, in many respects, are forms of rest. Part of the problem with Sabbath, as it is practiced, and as the rules seem to state, there can be no work on the Sabbath.
Let’s also deal with when is the Sabbath…it’s the day of rest, not a day of a week. There are those that insist only Saturday or Sunday are the day of the Sabbath. There is kind of a round-robin on this. God rested on the 7th day, whichever day that was. If you look and a US calendar, technically the Sabbath should be a Saturday (the last day of the week). If you look at Western European calendars, the Sabbath is Sunday (the last day of their week). Just comparing calendars should put some perspective on this.
In the days of the Temple of Jerusalem, the priests, the gatekeepers, the guards, the merchants (who sold “sacred” goods on the Temple grounds), the sacrifice workers were all very busy…working on the Sabbath. Were they an exception? Yes. However, as we are all now part of the priesthood of all believers (1 Peter 2:9), do we all work on Sundays? No, but we always want and need more volunteers! (Had to be said)
Rest is at the core. Not just rest, though. It is to be sacred rest. What is that? That probably is a discussion between you and God. Some people find gardening to be restful (despite being “work”). If it is not what you do for a living (which is really where the “no work” concept comes from), then it very well could be rest, while it is not rest to someone else (for example, someone who doesn’t like gardening).
Some find their rest watching sports. Some find their rest reading. Some find their rest cooking. Who are we to judge someone else’s rest? However, there is that “sacred rest” part. How does one get there?
1) How do you deliberately focus on God in your Sabbath day activities?
2) What activities do you find restful? What activities of others do you think are not restful? Why?
3) Do you feel that Sabbath rest should be “productive” or “non-productive”? What does that mean to you?