August 31, 2014 Sabbath Keeping
This spring I was praying about the church and listening for what God wants for God’s church. There are many challenges and changes in the church today, and I am not just talking about our local Ministry Body. I am concerned about the church as a whole.
How do we choose what to focus on?
Last year I read, The Power of Habit; Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, as Charles Duhigg described the scientific research that reveals the power of habit. The book begins by describing how a woman with a totally messed up life finds herself a year later, healthy, motivated, and changed all because she changed one habit in her life. Every other positive habit that she embraced came out of that one single habit change.
The researchers discovered that habits are routine brain and body processes that allow us to engage in other more important activities. For example, once you go to the bathroom the first thing in the morning that triggers the habit of washing your hands which leads to the habit of brushing your teeth. Meanwhile, you are anticipating all the great things that you will doing that day. Or, possibly, saying, “Why did I have that fourth drink?”
Duhigg then describes how businesses know this and use the power of habit to convince us to buy their product, and to keep buying it because we have developed the habit of using it and needing it. Duhigg completes his story by saying anyone can change their life by embracing the change of a single keystone habit. Once it is developed and maintained, sweeping lifestyle changes result.
However, Duhigg quotes the researchers as saying, “The great difficulty is finding the keystone habit our of all the habits that we do.”
So as I was praying for the God’s church and his desire for it, I was asking, “What is the keystone habit for Christians?”
I sensed God’s reply: “Remember the Sabbath to keep it holy. Obey just this one commandment and all the rest will follow.”
Being a good Lutheran I asked the follow up question, “What does this mean?”
“Worship, rest, play . . . And change the baby if the baby needs changing. Do this, and nothing more.”
“Is that all?”
“Well, it helps if you have someone to hold you accountable, someone to ask you, ‘How did you keep the Sabbath this week? What experience of God did you have during worship? Did you do anything that was not restful? How did you play? And what baby—task that absolutely had to be done—did you change?’”
My new Sabbath is on Fridays, since I work on Sundays, the normal Sabbath for Christians,
When and how do you keep Sabbath?