July at Calvary is a rest month. Many years ago, the Lord taught us about rhythm and rest for our church community. Every seven weeks or so, we schedule a rest week. During rest week, we take a break from evening activities like small group meetings during that week. Each year we schedule a rest month for July. Specifically, we take a break from our normal schedule of Sunday morning Bible Study, small group meetings, and Kids Church.
The spiritual practice of rest is for each of us. You and I are encouraged to schedule time each week for rest, reflection, and renewal.
The principle of rest comes from the Lord. Genesis 2:2-3 tells us that the Lord rested from his creation work on the seventh day. Obviously, the Lord wasn’t tired. But at the beginning of creation, the Lord built in the principle of rest. He set apart a day for Sabbath and called it holy.
We need to take time to replenish, recreate, reflect, worship, and rest. That is the principle behind the word Sabbath. Scheduling Sabbath days, or building in times of rest, is an important spiritual practice.
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. 29 Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. 30 Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly” (Matthew 11:28-30 MSG).
We need periods to refocus on the Lord, to renew our strength in God, and to get refreshed. That spiritual practice looks different for each of us. But, we all need times of reflection, recreation, and change of pace.
“In the Western world the Sabbath gains new significance. Workaholism is a modern Western disease, and the Sabbath is its antidote” (Genesis for Everyone: Part 1: Chapters 1-16).
I pray that you and I will learn the unforced rhythms of grace as we follow the Lord Jesus. I pray that our volunteers and leaders will experience rest and refreshment as we take a break from Bible Study, Small Groups, and Kids Church for the month of July.