“What makes a Sabbath a biblical Sabbath is that it is ‘holy to the lord.’
The most significant difference between a biblical Sabbath and a traditional “day off” is the focus on God. This doesn’t mean that we have to spend the entire day praying or studying the Bible, but it does invite us to be intentional about contemplating the love and glory of God.
Poet and priest Gerard Manley Hopkins once wrote, “The world is charged with the grandeur of God.”
Psalm 19 puts it this way:
“The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
It rises at one end of the heavens
and makes its circuit to the other;
nothing is deprived of its warmth.”
(Psalms 19:1–6 NIV)
Tomorrow we officially end our “Sanctuary Sabbath Month.” In some ways, that means rhythms will return to some degree of normalcy. But my hope is that we take what we have learned and experienced about Sabbath this month and incorporate it into our weekly schedules for the rest of the year.