The ancient Hebrews prepared for and observed the Sabbath every week of their lives. Sabbath began at sundown on Friday evening and the entire day was spent preparing the home and the food for this shared gathering of remembrance and blessing. The Hebrew word "Sabbath" means to stop, to cease striving. When we intentionally make space to stop in the rhythm of our lives, we receive the freedom to enter God's rest and the gift of living in greater awareness of Christ's presence within and among us. Like the man in this story, we are changed and set free in the presence of Jesus.
Many in our Wednesday night group felt hope swell up within them as they prayed with this text. Some of the comments shared where:
"I underestimate the presence and authority of Jesus"
"I want to be amazed"
"When Jesus shows up, things change, shift"
"I am enlarged through the process of waiting on God"
"Sometimes, it is not easy to see the Holy Spirit working in our lives right before us"
"I want to know who you are Jesus"
Mark 1:21-28 NIV
They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. 22 The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. 23 Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an impure spirit cried out, 24 “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”
25 “Be quiet!” said Jesus sternly. “Come out of him!” 26 The impure spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek.
27 The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, “What is this? A new teaching—and with authority! He even gives orders to impure spirits and they obey him.” 28 News about him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee.
For Your Reflection and Prayer:
What did you hear or feel as you listened to the text? A word? A phrase? A sensation?
How do you experience the presence of Christ when you make Sabbath an intentional part of the rhythms of your life?
If you could ask Jesus anything about who he is so that you could know him more, what would you ask him? Could you ask him now in your prayer? What does he share with you about himself?