Lenten Devotional – March 13, 2023

Monday, March 13, 2023
Keeping the Sabbath Wholly by Marva Dawn
Lenten Devotional by Michaela Eskew

After exploring the many ways that we can cease to live for ourselves and instead live one day a week for God, Marva Dawn continues her book, Keeping the Sabbath Wholly, with the theme of Resting. She spends a fair amount of time reviewing the many different types of rest that she recommends: Physical, Emotional, Intellectual, and Spiritual.

She reminds her reader of the story in 1 Kings 18-19, where Elijah challenges the priests of Baal and after running for his life because of the persecution he received afterwards, God grants him food, water, and a nap. This story is a favorite of mine and I encourage reading it sometime this Lent. It shows that God doesn’t expect super-human things from us. God sees Elijah for the human that he is, in need of a space to rest and recuperate, but also Elijah is reminded that God is the one that sustains us and provides the daily bread that we need.

Elijah had some very special time in that cave, with God, but ultimately with himself. Sometimes we need that isolation. However, some of us rest best in the company of others. Dawn highlights the needs for a balance between company and seclusion in sabbath keeping. She writes, “Furthermore, solitude and community work together in paradox. Our times of solitude make our times of community deeper because we have learned more about ourselves to offer to the whole. Reciprocally, our times in community rebuild our sense of self through interaction with others and give us food for our personal reflections. Thus, the rhythm of sabbath times alone and together with others can bring great healing rest to our emotional lives.”

Dawn emphasizes that we need one another to find real rest. This doesn’t just mean using your Sabbath time to reconnect with your family or friends. It means that sometimes you may need others to get the rest you need, leaning on one another to get chores done before the Sabbath or to hold each other accountable for taking the rest you need. Who might you need to lean on to get the rest you need? Who might you be able to assist for them to receive rest this week? Prayer thoughts:
Compassionate God, give us rest this week – true whole-self rest. Amen.

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