The rhythms of a missional church: #5 sabbath

We in the Edge Network have adopted five rhythms in an attempt to encapsulate what it means to live our values. Each month for the past few months someone has been designated a ‘rhythm champion’ to encourage people to think about and practice the rhythm of the month. Here are the notes I produced to support this.

5. sabbath

the challenge

Each week we aspire to spend time in rest, praise, play, partying and creativity.

links to our identities and values

Identities * Because God is our Father, we are the family of God. Our heavenly Father graciously accepts us and cares for us … * Because Jesus is our Saviour, we are the heirs of God. Jesus has set us free from the condemnation our rebellion deserves through his death in our place. We have received the promise of a glorious inheritance … * Because the Holy Spirit is God’s empowering presence, we are the temple of God … people set apart for God.

Values * 1. The priority of the gospel: We are committed to filling ordinary life with gospel intentionality … We will not let Christian activity be just one part of our lives. * 4. Sharing our lives as extended family: We are committed to sharing our lives in Christian community, caring for one another … * 5. Inclusive communities … We want to … be communities of grace …

biblical foundations

‘Sabbath’ is the Hebrew word for ‘rest’. God rested on the seventh day of creation. And God invites us to reflect his creativity – to be people who enjoy art, culture and play. He also invites us to share his eternal rest. Human beings are designed to live with a pattern of work and rest within each week. In the Old Testament Israel were promised rest from their enemies if they would trust God’s protection. We often overwork because we feel the need to prove ourselves or we fear other people or we do not trust God’s fatherly care. So Jesus invites us to come to him and find rest (Matthew 11:28-30). We find rest when we no longer feel the need to prove ourselves and when we trust God for our future. So resting, praising, playing and partying give glory to God because they express our confidence in his grace and care. They are also important for creating human community. We praise by God with our lips (praising him in prayer and song for his greatness and goodness to us) and we praise God with our lives (serving him, praising him to others and resting in his grace) (Hebrews 13:15-16; 1 Peter 2:9-12).

Bible stories

Genesis 1:1-2:3 – God creates and God rests. * 2 Chronicles 20 – the Israelites send a choir out to battle because they are confident God will save them. * Proverbs 8:30-31 – ‘Wisdom’ rejoices (literally ‘plays’) in God’s presence. * Matthew 11:28-12:14 – Jesus recreates on the Sabbath. * Hebrews 3:7-4:11 – a generation of Israelites did not enjoy rest because they did not trust God.

putting it into practice
*    Throw a party.
*    Arrange a street party or a community party.
*    Spend an evening learning new praise songs.
*    Encourage people to write a song, paint a picture, bake a cake, learn a story, make some cards …
*    Organise a treasure hunt (in which teams answer clues that take them to different locations) or a photo hunt (in which teams take photos of a team member doing specific things like shaking hands with a postman or standing in a stream or wearing a borrowed hat).
*    Organise an evening of creativity – a talent show, a poetry reading, an art installation, a craft evening, a karaoke night, a storytelling session, a play reading through, a sing-along musical DVD
*    Organise a trip to a theatre, museum, art gallery or concert.
*    Have an ‘icon of the week’ with a picture or poem or music that illustrates the teaching theme.
*    Organise a board games night.
*    Organise a walk or picnic in the countryside.
*    Decorate the meal table with seasonal flowers and leaves.
*    Ask someone to put together a movie to illustrate the Bible teaching or lead people in worship.

One thought on “The rhythms of a missional church: #5 sabbath

Comments are closed.