Andrew Schroer writes a faith column for the Victoria Advocate.

After a long week of work and worry, the weekend always feels good. From the time I was little, I loved Saturdays. You get to sleep in. You get to watch cartoons. You get to rest.

God bless Saturday.

Actually, he did. After an intense week of creating everything that exists, God rested on the seventh day. He sat back and admired all he had made. He saw that it was good.

“And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from the work of creating that he had done.” (Genesis 2:3).

Saturday became known as the “Sabbath,” a word in Hebrew which means “rest.” God commanded his people of the Old Testament to rest on Saturday and not to work. They were to get away from their busy lives – away from their work and worry – to simply sit back and admire all that God had done for them. The Sabbath was a day to relax, a day for family, a day to study God’s Word and worship him.

Saturdays weren’t the only Sabbaths the people were to take. God set up numerous Sabbaths throughout the year, holidays on which they were to rest, worship him and admire all he had done for them.

In the New Testament, God gives us the freedom to choose when we take those Sabbaths (Colossians 2:16,17). Some Christians do it on Sunday mornings; others on Saturday nights; still others on Wednesday evenings. God doesn’t command us when we have to worship, but he does want us to still take the time every week to get away from our work and worry to focus on worship and his Word.

Taking a Sabbath is good for us. It recharges our batteries. It strengthens our faith. It focuses us on what is really important.

I would like to encourage you today to take a Sabbath from social media. In fact, I encourage you to take a regular break from all media.

The year 2020 has been like no other. People make jokes about all the bad news with which we have been bombarded this year: pandemic, social distancing, recession, killer hornets, Saharan dust, racial inequality and a tumultuous presidential election.

Oh, and as I write this, Tropical Storm Hanna is headed our way.

With everything that is happening, we find ourselves glued to our phones and our TV’s watching, wondering and worrying. Our Facebook feeds are full of people wringing their hands and shouting into the wind about the problems of our world.

Now, more than ever, we need to take Sabbaths. We need to turn off the TV and put down our phones. We need to sit back and admire all that God has given us: our homes, our families and our lives. We need to turn our eyes to the promises of his Word and the heaven he gives. God’s Word puts our problems into perspective.

Yes, what is happening in our world is important and we need to be aware, but we can become so consumed by current events that we fail to live our lives. We get overwhelmed by worry. We lose sight of God’s providence and protection.

So take a Sabbath. Turn off your phone. Turn off the TV. Pick up your Bible. Go to church.

Take the time to sit back and admire all that God has done for you and you will find rest for your soul.

Pastor Andrew Schroer has been a pastor for nearly 20 years and is currently serving at Redeemer Lutheran Church with campuses in Edna and Victoria, Texas. Read more of his devotional writing and contact him at 364DaysofThanksgiving.com.

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