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Life Balance – Week 1

Time to Pause

What does Sabbath really mean?

Read – Exodus 20. 8-11 and Mark 2.23 –3.5

These passages reinforce the value of the Sabbath as God’s gift to us. It is not meant to be restrictive, but liberating, a time for people to find new life and wholeness, as the man who is healed in the synagogue on the Sabbath does.

Today’s concern for a good “work-life” balance, with many people feeling under stress as they try to fit too much into their lives, could be seen as reflecting this Biblical concern for our human need for “Sabbath” breaks and for a varied rhythm to our lives.
Sabbath keeping in our twenty-first century lives might include Sabbath days - not necessarily a Sunday; Sabbath moments – times during the day when you can be still; Sabbath attitudes – learning to be aware of, and thankful for, the goodness of God; Sabbath seasons – seeing holidays, career breaks, even times of illness or unemployment, as opportunities to learn and grow, to be refreshed and changed.

God of eternity, teach us to pause.
God of creation, teach us to wonder.
God of Sabbath, teach us to rest.
God of delight, teach us to play.
God of the poor, teach us to share in your work of liberation.
God of love, reconciling us through Christ Jesus,
fill our lives with your perfect peace. Amen

Sabbath God,
help us to stop,
slow down,
unclench our fists,
and receive.

Adapted from “Life Balance” Copyright © Robert Warren and Sue Mayfield 2005 Church House Publishing.