The world has come to a standstill. Schools are shut down, businesses have closed, travel has slowed to a crawl, the economy is tanking, and even churches have been forced to close their doors. The novel coronavirus (or Covid-19) was designated a pandemic by the World Health Organization, forcing everyone to take extraordinary precautions in order to slow the spread of this deadly disease. Many people are justifiably concerned about the health implications of this pandemic as well as the shut-down’s effect on the global economy and our way of life. The requirement for “social distancing” is also creating increased isolation and is adding to an overall sense of fear and anxiety.
Apart from the very real health concerns surrounding this coronavirus, the unexpected Pause in our daily routines may also be revealing our society’s addiction to busyness and a frantic pace of life. Is it possible that we’ve become so accustomed to the noise and busyness of our world, that we’ve grown deaf to God’s still small voice? Could a silver lining of this unexpected Pause be the opportunity to draw closer to God and experience deeper community?
Join us for a special series exploring how God speaks to us in the interruptions of life, and how we can use this Pause to draw closer to Him.
One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grain fields, and as his disciples walked along, they began to pick some heads of grain. The Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?”
He answered, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need? In the days of Abiathar the high priest, he entered the house of God and ate the consecrated bread, which is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions.”
Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”
Another time Jesus went into the synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath. Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand, “Stand up in front of everyone.”
Then Jesus asked them, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they remained silent.
He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored. Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus.
The Origin of the Sabbath:
The Sabbath is a gift from God. See: Mark 2:27; Genesis 2:1-3; Exodus 20:8-11
The Meaning of the Sabbath:
The Sabbath is a reminder that the God who created all things will heal and restore His creation. See: Mark 3:1-5; John 9:13-41; Luke 13:10-17
The Fulfillment of the Sabbath
Jesus is the Sabbath rest that can heal your weary soul. See: Mark 2:28; Matthew 11:28-30
“Because God has made us for Himself, our hearts are restless until they rest in Him.” – Saint Augustine
Use this “unexpected pause” to focus on those things that will draw you closer to God:
- Prayer and times of silent meditation
- Daily Bible Reading and reflection
- Practice social distancing “together” by joining a Zoom small group (Text “Groups” to 904-442-8650)
- Listen to recommended sermons and read something from the recommended reading list.
Suggested Reading List for “Pause”:
An Unhurried Life, Alan Fadling
40 Days to Lasting Change, Kyle Idleman
40 Days of Purpose, Rick Warren
A Call to Die, David Nasser
Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, Peter Scazzero
Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Day by Day, Peter Scazzero
Ninety Days with the Disciple Jesus Loves, Gary Lee Webber
My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers
Morning and Evening, Charles Spurgeon
Other sermons you may want to check out:
Awakening (2015), One (2017), Prayer Journey (2018), The Disciple’s Journey (2018)