In a recent newsletter from Mount Zion Baptist Church in Macon, Ga., pastor Stan Braley announced that the congregation will experience Sabbath Week — beginning at the conclusion of worship on Easter Sunday.
No church activities will be held until the following Sunday.
While I’m not sure where this idea may have originated, it certainly is a good one. After completing the Lenten journey of introspection that led into Holy Week, and then giving full attention to the big celebration of the Resurrection, rest is in order.
Rest — in Sabbath terms — is different from vacations which often are filled with activities. A Sabbath experience involves doing fewer (or no) activities in order to recharge and refocus.
Stan put it this way in the newsletter: “God was the first to practice Sabbath and evidently thought it so good that he shared it with us … The week following Easter will be a time for our church to rest and refocus on God.”
The church office will remain open and pastoral duties will continue. It is the programming that will be suspended for a week.
“…Think about the members who spend countless hours throughout the year leading ministries and practicing their skills to lead us … week in and week out,” Stan explained further. “This special week is a time for our workers, our leaders and our members to find rest and refreshment while refocusing on the reason for working so diligently.”
When visiting with various congregations, I am always amazed at the sheer volume of activities that are carried out. These are worthy of our time and talents. But, on occasion, the busyness of such commitments must give way to a refocus on the purpose of our work.
Sabbath Week is such a time.