Enter Into the Rest of the Beloved

As followers of Christ, we are his Holy Bride and he is our Beloved. Whether you are a man or a woman does not matter, the metaphor for the church, as the Bride is one familiar in Christianity. Part of spiritual practice is taking time to be with the Beloved. Sabbath, or Shabbat, is the idea of setting aside a day to be with the Beloved. It has been celebrated by many religions and belief systems in many different ways for all of time.

Shabbat means, “to rest”. In its most blessed form it is in harmony with the words of Jesus’ invitation that say, “Come to me all you who labor and I will give you rest. My yoke is easy. My burden is light. Then you will find rest for your soul.”

To take time to cease from busy-ness and take time for “Being” is to enter into the concept and blessing of Sabbath. To observe a Sabbath rest is to take the time to enter into quiet communion with God. It is truly rest for our souls.

The world in which we live is filled with many demands and stressors. Time is a precious commodity. With our choices we decide what we are going to spend our life—our time—on. To take a whole day set aside for the purpose of spiritual practice and getting to know the Beloved and oneself, seems like a luxury that only the “rich” in time can afford. But the wonderful thing about the Sabbath is that it is made available to us simply by choosing to spend the allotted resource that we all share equally—time. We all have the same number of hours in a week.

In spite of its affordability, however, it is easy to believe that the idea of a Sabbath rest is too expensive. There is just too much to do. We decide that it is something that we cannot afford and thus do not choose to spend a day devoted to spiritual pursuits.

This same idea is then carried over into our relationship with the Beloved. His words of comfort, a promise of rest from labor, and restoration for our souls seems too good to be true, and we pass on the idea of giving our worries, burdens, and cares, and yes, even our physical labor over to the Beloved, choosing instead, to shoulder the burdens ourselves.

We then struggle along like good soldiers, all the while becoming more stressed and frustrated and wondering why we do not feel more love and support from the Divine along our path. Until we awaken to the resources, support, and encouragement that have been put in place for us along the spiritual path, we will toil on. To embrace the Sabbath is to be embraced in the arms of the Beloved.

God wants to meet with us every day, to live in our hearts every moment, and to have special time with us every week. It is we who are too busy, oftentimes doing “God’s” work, to truly be present with God every moment of every day.

When there are exciting things happening in life, celebrations, favorite shows, ball games, or a game of gulf, we have no problem finding the time to indulge in our pastimes. How we choose to spend our time with God reveals whether we are really all that in love with the Beloved or not.

Fortunately, God’s love for us is far more mature, unobtrusive, and patient. Ever waiting, the Beloved stands at the door and knocks, waiting for an invitation to spend time with his Beloved—the Holy Bride.

There is nothing lost by devoting time for romance with God. The magical component of Sabbath observance is that one accomplishes just as much in the course of six days as it would normally take seven to do. You can’t loose. To be in love with the Beloved is to have access to the storerooms of Heaven. All the abundance of the universe is available to us. Love is an easy yoke and provides restoration for our souls.

Shabbat Shalom! Peaceful rest!