March 8, 2024

How is your Sabbath?

by David Alexander

Dear First Family, 
If you missed worship last weekend, we began an extended season of focus on the Gospel of John. We will spend the next several months preaching through John’s Gospel and, with our First15 daily devotional resource, we will also be reading the book of John together. 
If you have not utilized the First 15 resource in the past, you can find out more and subscribe to receive those via email each day by visiting I hope you will join us on this journey together. 
Several weeks ago I asked a group of lay leaders the question, “How is your Sabbath?” 
If you remember, we spent the first month of 2024 teaching on Sabbath and shared that we would be mutually encouraging one another to grow in this practice throughout the year. 
I wasn’t surprised to hear those leaders share expressions of both the joy of experiencing Sabbath rest as well as the challenge of developing it as a regular practice. In our teaching, we acknowledged that setting aside any time in our week for Sabbath is so out of step with the hurried culture in which we live. 
In our world today, busyness is a badge of honor. 
Yet we are continually confronted in the scriptures to a wholly different kind of life. In Matthew 11:28, Jesus shares these words of invitation. 
 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” 
The implications of that one statement are really remarkable. Jesus actually desires to bless us with rest and Jesus understands that we need it. Jesus doesn’t look down on those who are weary or burdened.
Instead, he affirms our need and his desire to meet us in our need.
And in the same spirit, I want to also ask you this question. 
          How is your Sabbath? 
Don’t hear that with any sense of judgment. If you just experience a twinge of guilt, hear this… That is not from God. The grace and love of your creator invite you into rest. Guilt has no place in this conversation.
If you’ve not figured out how to turn off your phone, set aside an evening to share a Sabbath meal, embraced a full day to delight in God’s goodness and love or if you did any of those a month ago but have been struggling since, hear these words of encouragement
Sabbath is a gift given to you by God because he loves you and knows you. We need rest and the good news is that God longs to bless us with that gift. 
I love you and I am proud of you, 
Pastor David

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