Fast 7: Rhythm of the Sabbath
Wednesday morning — Read Isaiah 58:13
“If you turn back your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on my holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight and the holy day of the LORD honorable; if you honor it, not going your own ways, or seeking your own pleasure, or talking idly…”
While the prophet here has his focus on true vs. false worship he reminds God’s people of the very thing that binds them together as a community while uniting them to Himself. The commandment to keep the Sabbath was a copy of the Sabbath of creation. He set all things in motion and He is the one that all motion points and he commands all motion to rest – to enter into himself – to enter into His rest. Everything we have seen so far in this passage, all of the works and service to others of the “fast the Lord chooses,” are an expression of our Sabbath worship and point us towards our worship.
Think of this as a grand symphony orchestra. Each individual instrument/musician must practice on his/her own. One might also mention that there is sectional rehearsal where a part of the orchestra works together so not all gather together. Finally, all gather together to hold all the parts together and bring the fullness of the melody and counter-melodies. The rhythm is bolder than ever before and this all points to the final performance that will be flawless and the director will finally have brought his orchestra to perfection.
At our Sabbath worship the Lord is our director of worship. We have been alone through the week and perhaps in sections of the body working out what true worship looks like (pouring ourselves out for others, seeking beauty in creation, seeking justice, seeking to renew the city, etc.), and then on the Sabbath our union with and worship of our Creator is heightened as we are united with one another and the rhythm of the Sabbath moves in our hearts and minds. Because we worship in a fallen world, often the Sabbath may not feel like this, but this is not a theory of how things are…this is reality.
As we have now come to the middle of the week, the hope is that we are in communion with the Lord seeking him to nourish and sustain us. See this middle of the week as a reminder of when we communed with God at the Lord’s table two Sabbaths ago and how we participated with one another in the sacrament. While the elements of the bread and wine are small portions physically (representing our spiritual union with the body and blood of Jesus) the spiritual portion is immeasurable such that the Lord delights to use it as a means to transform us to the image of his Son—the Lord of the Sabbath and the perfect sacrifice in the midst of our helplessness! Let’s pray…
- that we might see what things keep us from delighting in or taking seriously the “rhythm of the Sabbath.”
- that we would delight in the Sabbath and that the Lord would use this time to prepare us for when we unite with Him again as the visible body of Christ
- that the Lord would instruct us as to how He views the Sabbath and our corporate worship…that it is on the Sabbath – in our worship and our fellowship where we and others find the gospel and so find a heightened sense of healing in the midst of being helpless and harassed