SLD Blog

My Sabbath: A Personal Reflection – Col. Richard Munn

rhythm‘On the Sabbath Jesus went into the Synagogue, as was his custom.’  LK 4:16

‘I got rhythm’ wrote George Greshwin, ‘who could ask for anything more?’

Well George, you may be tapping into something profound because a clear feature of all created order is rhythm. The cadence of day and night, rain and sun, seed and harvest is both reliable and intricate.

Consistent rhythm, it seems, is part of God’s personality, and, therefore, embedded as part of our humanity. I daresay we can strum along, out of step with God for a while, but pretty guaranteed we’ll begin wobbling. And then? Crash.

I wonder if Sabbath keeping is a deep rhythm, built into each one of us?

We see it right there at the dawn of creation, a 7th day lilt, and not long later, a command: Remember to keep the Sabbath holy.

Work: Worship and rest – point and counterpoint.

Here are the Manufacturer’s Instructions, so to speak. Ignore them, and the finished product is likely missing a piece or two, off kilter, not quite right.

As with all God’s commands, this Sabbath word is here for our own good. Not a riff, just for the sake of it. I call it the therapy of worship. Deeply healing, strengthening in ways mysterious and intangible. A lifetime regularly remembering the Sabbath brings untold wellbeing.

Work: Worship and rest – point and counterpoint.

That may be why the Sabbath is at the heart of the church. All other admirable pursuits – evangelism, service, teaching, social justice, missions – find their fuel in the regularity of the Sabbath.

Steve Green sang it well: ‘To love the Lord our God is the heartbeat of our mission, the spring from which our service overflows.’

A couple of important pointers. The Sabbath is a ‘day of rest and sacred assembly’ (LEV 23) and is ‘made for humankind.’ (MK 2) Worship and rest are divine gifts for us.

It should be no surprise to us that we read, almost slipped in nonchalantly, that Jesus goes to the Synagogue ‘as was his custom.’ (LK 4) Jesus remembered the Sabbath beat.

What a great rhythm. It’s no happenstance that Jesus describes himself as ‘Lord of the Sabbath.’ (MK 2)

So, join the ancient rhythm. Make a choice, even when other drumbeats seduce and distract. Remember the Sabbath, and keep it holy. And, let the healing flow.

Who could ask for anything more?


Written by Colonel Richard J. Munn, Territorial Secretary for Theology & Christian Ethics


For more in the Sabbath Series, click here.