What is the purpose of the Sabbath? Raymond Ortland explain how God is “calling us to schedule our weekly routines” around delighting in Him.
“The Sabbath is meant to structure our weekly schedules around glorifying and enjoying God together. The Sabbath is God’s appointed release for us from our self-worshipping addiction to work and productivity and efficiency and organization and busyness. The Sabbath is God’s way of saying, ‘No, your highest values will not be professional and commercial. They will only end up destroying you and others through you. Your highest values will be worship and freedom and delight, enriching you and all around you.”
“For most American Christians today, the Sabbath is the holiday we’re least likely to observe. We think we’re freeing ourselves from a religious imposition, but in fact we’re enslaving ourselves to destructive workaholism, unintentional but real exploitation of our employees, the obliteration of unstructured family intimacy, and, above all, a lost sense of the sacred. If we kept the Sabbath—it’s inconvenient, but the important things in life usually are—if we kept the Sabbath, one day in seven, fifty-two weeks a year, we’d automatically add seven and a half weeks of vacation to our year. And not just seven and a half weeks of goofing off. Seven and a half weeks of focusing on God…
“Delight in God is the most precious treasure in the world. It opens everything else up. It expels sin, it praises Christ, it studies the Bible, it raises kids well, it works hard for the benefit of others, it relieves their sufferings, it builds the church, it goes to Heaven….
“[God] loves delight. And He’s calling us to schedule our weekly routines around His great and serious joys, bringing others with us into the atmosphere of holy delight. That means that Sunday is not an extra Saturday. It’s not the end of the weekend. It’s not a day to get caught up for Monday. It’s the Lord’s Day, when we set lesser things aside and replenish ourselves and others with all the fullness of God.
-Raymond Ortland, Jr.
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What is the purpose of the Sabbath?
New Hope Presbyterian Church • Bridgeton, NJ