Claiming Sabbath and the Bread of Life

Noonday Rest by Jean Francois Millet

We live in a work-work-work, busy-busy-busy, stress-stress-stress, flying down the road at 100 mph with your hair on fire culture. The 40 hour work week is long gone for many of us, especially with employers asking more and more of their workers rather than hiring more workers. With the advent of the internet, e-mail, text, tweet, Wi-Fi, laptops, 24 hour super stores, smart phones, online banking, online shopping and … and… and… it’s now possible to literally work 24/7/365.

One of the most radical things a Christ-follower can do in our culture is to practice Sabbath. Sabbath is a Hebrew word which literally means “to cease.” It’s so important to our well being, God models it for us in creation and makes it one of the Big Ten (commandments that is). God invites us to “cease” working, to unplug in order to rest and reconnect with God and others. Sabbath ceasing includes setting aside an entire day of the week for God and setting aside shorter daily Sabbaths throughout the rest of the week.

In Sabbath ceasing, God is also inviting us to cease worrying, striving, and straining to provide for ourselves and our loved ones in our own strength. God provides. (Matthew 6:25-33) When we cease the work and the worry, our actions embody faith and trust in God’s provision. We claim the Bread of Life, rather than the bread of anxious toil.

This worship resource was born out of a desire to accept God’s invitation to live differently, to reclaim all that God provides. May the peace of the Lord be with you, now and always. – Lisa <><

Claiming Sabbath and the Bread of Life
ONE SPEAKING: Psalm 127:1-2 (NRSV)
Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord guards the city, the guard keeps watch in vain.
It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives sleep to his beloved.

ALL SINGING
Mystery by Charlie Hall (CCLI #5208445)
Verse, chorus

ONE SINGING: John 6:48, 51 (NRSV)
Jesus said, “I am the bread of life….I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”

ALL SPEAKING
Give us this day our daily bread.

ALL SINGING
Mystery by Charlie Hall (CCLI #5208445)
Verse, chorus

ONE SPEAKING: Matthew 11:28-30 (NRSV)
Jesus said, “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

ALL SINGING
Mystery by Charlie Hall (CCLI #5208445)
Bridge twice, chorus twice, first two lines of the verse

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compilation © 2011 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution. Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

For more information on the music, scripture translation, art and the use of this resource in other settings, please refer to the copyright information page.

2 thoughts on “Claiming Sabbath and the Bread of Life

    • I chose the noonday rest painting because it reminded me of the importance of taking a little sabbath every day. I far too often work through lunch and breaks. Ceasing to work for these moments in order to reconnect with God and others, or just to rest, seems like a healthy and faithful way to practice a daily sabbath.

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