I was asked tonight how I, as a Seventh-day Adventist pastor, have a Sabbath (that is, a day of rest on Saturday). My wife immediately spoke up and said that we basically go from 9 to 5 on Sabbath doing church work. It's true, of course, that I do a lot of my work on Sabbath--preaching, teaching, meetings, visiting, etc.--so am I breaking the Sabbath?
I've heard ministers appeal to Matthew 12:5 to justify a hectic Sabbath schedule: "On the Sabbath the priests in the temple break the Sabbath and are innocent." Yet I believe that we are in the priesthood of all believers (Rom. 1:6), so I can't really argue that a different set of rules apply to me. Yes, pastors need the Sabbath, too; and sometimes more so than others.
I asked myself, how do I rest on the Sabbath and break my everyday routine? How do I keep it holy and set those 24 hours aside God? So tonight, here are the:
Top Five Ways I Sabbath:
1. Enjoy the company of believers
2. Worship God with my church
3. Serve my church with the gifts God has given me
4. Abstain from secular entertainment and concerns
5. Take a nap
I don't think that's different than how the Bible teaches any other believer should keep the Sabbath. The difference would be that I sometimes take Jesus statement that it is "lawful to do good on the Sabbath (Matt. 12:12)" a little too seriously (sometimes my Sabbaths are quite exhausting). But I do not consider the work that I do on Sabbath to be part of my paying 'job' but rather a gift of service to the church.
(Now if only I could get my sermons finished before sundown...)
For more about the Sabbath check out this Bible study.