We’re coming up on Labor Day next Monday. The 19th-century labor movement came up with the concept, and it became a U.S. federal holiday in 1894. Most workers have the day off.

There’s a similar concept in the Bible: the Sabbath. In fact, it’s one of the “Big 10″—commandments given to the Israelites by God through Moses. Back then they were an agricultural society who had to work by the sweat of their brow to get food. The commandment provided much-needed physical rest for their bodies. It was also to be a delight to their soul as they were to use the time to worship God, rest and fellowship with each other.

But the Sabbath was never intended to impose burdensome restrictions on activities. Nor was it meant to heap guilt or shame on those who do not practice it. It provided rest for laborers, and pointed to something even better. Rest revives our bodies, but Jesus offers ultimate rest for our souls. Trusting in Him means we can rest from working to become right with God.

Still, we know that God created our bodies and minds to need rest! We would be wise to plan for regular rest—and then do it!

That’s one of the principles that we try to help our ministry partners grasp. They face a lot of pressure from the constant needs laid at their doorstep. It’s hard to step away and care for themselves or their families. We’ll be talking about that in our first new Cohort this fall. (And we’ll be telling you more about our Cohorts in our next newsletter. Be sure to sign up if you don’t receive it!)

I hope you will consider rest in your Labor Day plans! Also, please pray that God would help our ministry partners to rest, so they will not only survive, but thrive.

 

Photo by Thomas Willmott on Unsplash

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