Rev. Joy Ireland – “Sabbath & the Stewardship of Others”
“Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your ox, your donkey, or any of your animals, nor the alien within your gates, so that your manservant and maidservant may rest, as you do.” -- Deuteronomy 5:13-14
The passage above highlights a lesson regarding Sabbath observance that was undiscovered prior to a recent word study, namely the corporate implications of the fourth commandment. Personal benefits of honoring Sabbath are evident, such as weekly rest, overall life balance, productivity the rest of the week. However, like many other Biblical principles, aspects of Sabbath can go beyond self in order to encourage the simultaneous rest for others.
How can 21st century believers insure that their Sabbath observance honors these communal implications? Consider how your Sabbath choices affect those around you. Does the way you choose to rest cause anyone else to work or wait on you? Do your activities encourage rest for your spouse and children? Is someone at the office still working while you rest? Is work a requirement for your employees every day?
I’ve long understood that the observance of Sabbath dealt with the stewardship of time, but who knew it was so intimately linked to the stewardship of others? I’m sure I haven’t yet figured out all the reasons why, but the numerous populations outlined in verse 14 make it quite evident. Honoring Sabbath is not just about me or you…it’s about us!