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The Sabbath Blog

Resting for Others

Resting for Others
Sabbath. The word brings to mind many different pictures—church, worship, nature, and spending time with family and friends. But have you ever considered that the Sabbath is about resting for others as well?

In a recent article, author Allen Hamlin considers the impact of Sabbath rest on our community. When we study the Ten Commandments, we often divide them into two parts—the first four are about our relationship with God, while the last six deal with our relationships with those around us, our community.

But when we look closely at the Sabbath commandment, it could be seen as a bridge between God and our community. While we keep the Sabbath holy, we are commanded to ensure that those impacted by our lives are also able to keep the Sabbath holy. (This is different from requiring those around us to keep the Sabbath.) Rather the command is clear—we should never require those in our sphere of influence to work on the seventh day.

A precedent is set for us in the book of Genesis, where God rested, as our example, on the seventh day and set it apart as a day of rest for all humanity. Think about it for a moment—if God can take time out from His work, then wouldn’t it follow that we, as His creation, be able to rest from our work also? Because God gave us a clear example, we can obey with confidence.

This is why we need to evaluate how our actions impact our communities on the Sabbath. Jesus was very clear that the Sabbath was made for everyone, not just a select few (Mark 2:27).

So how does this concept affect your plans for Sabbath-keeping? If we plan our lives so that we can rest on the Sabbath, shouldn’t we take into consideration the lives of those around us—and help them find rest? While Sabbath-keeping should not be legislated, we can be living examples of its many benefits.

Take a moment to consider how you can enter more fully into the Sabbath rest that God has designed for you—and how you can help to provide that opportunity to rest for those in your sphere of influence. Here's something to get you started. And let us know what you think in the comments below...