Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.
Reflection: A Restoring Sabbath
By Dena Dyer
I’m sick of the constant “ding” of Facebook messages, tweets, and emails. My shoulders ache from the tension of trying to fit too much into an already-packed schedule. And my head hurts from trying to remember all the people who need something from me.
What about you? Are you tired of 24/7 restaurants, instant messaging, and the strain of trying to pack one more thing into a week full of obligations? If so, you’re not alone…and our numbers are growing.
Peter Smith of the Courier-Journal reports that Dr. Matthew Sleeth, a former emergency room physician, is encouraging stressed-out folks to consider an ancient principle: keeping the Sabbath. Sleeth is the founder of the Christian ministry “Blessed Earth” and the author of several books, including the new release, 24/6: The Prescription for a Happier, Healthier Life.
The biblical Sabbath God commanded his children to take in the Ten Commandments included “not just work-free days, but also allowing pastures to rest and not harvesting a field completely, leaving gleanings for the poor and hedgerows as a sanctuary for wildlife,” says Sleeth.
He notes that a day of rest doesn’t necessarily mean “a day of just kicking back. It can involve such deliberate activities as walking and light gardening. What it does mean is powering down the laptop and smartphone. And slowing down enough to listen.”
*This devotional was originally posted as a part of The High Calling devotional series.
Many key leaders in technology have been public about taking strong measures to reduce technology use by their families and especially their children.
As you begin this year, think and pray about ways in which you can abstain from technology’s addictive elements, while still using its powerful tools to spur your spiritual growth.
Weekly sabbaths teach us that the sabbath doesn’t condemn the week of work, but it blesses it and redeems it. Sabbath is not a punishment to be endured but a blessing. Use a fast or sabbatical this month to reset your ideas about technology and how you will use it in 2019.
Prayer: The Refrain for the Morning Lessons
I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me out of all my terror. — Psalm 34:4
– Prayer from The Divine Hours: Prayers for Autumn and Wintertime by Phyllis Tickle.
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