Our pastors will be sharing from the pulpit on the biblical aspect of why weaving a Sabbath-Rest into our weekly routine is vital for our Christian walk and spiritual formation. There will also be teaching sessions from the Discipleship & Nurture ministry to help us understand and practise the following five core spiritual disciplines:
1. Discipline of WORSHIP
2. Discipline of MEDITATING ON SCRIPTURES
3. Discipline of PRAYER
4. Discipline of SILENCE AND SOLITUDE
5. Discipline of EXAMEN
On an individual level, let me share some suggestions as to how you and your small group can learn and practise how to Rest, Reflect and Renew.
1. Sabbath Moments will be incorporated during church services to help all Wesleyans spend short moments of quiet and reflection.
2. Each of us should intentionally set aside a day in our normal week as our designated day of Sabbath-Rest. It could be Sunday or another day in the week when we do not have to officially work. On this day, let us commit to the Lord that we will do the following:
- Cease from regular work as much as possible — i.e. avoid attending to work emails, texts or calls.
- Cease from being enslaved to our smartphone, online shopping, online gaming, fears and anxiety.
- Find ways to rest and be refreshed, e.g. go for meditative walks, enjoy God’s creation and presence, or take part in a class that lets us express our creativity (art, photography, making cards, gifts, etc.).
- Plan a family outing or have a meal with good friends or extended family.
3. Many of us have been utilising the Read-Observe-Apply-Do (R.O.A.D.) method in our daily reflections using the Bible Reading Plan. For the Year of Sabbath-Rest, we will be adding one more dimension — spiritual journalling — to help us in our reflections. More details will be released soon.
4. Set aside at least one day in the year to go for a silent retreat where you will be guided to spend time listening to God.
One of the goals in the practice of the spiritual disciplines is to establish a holy rhythm in our lives.
We also encourage our church ministries to reflect and review whether what we have been doing, is still relevant currently.
With the entire population prevented from travelling abroad, the prohibition of large-group gatherings and many working from home, we have experienced record attendances for online small group meetings, prayer services and other ministry webinars. Almost overnight, the entire church has learnt how to use Zoom and tune in to online church services. As one wise church leader told me, instead of getting people to church, we now bring the church into the homes of entire families. While these changes pose new problems, the question we need to ask is — how should we pivot as a church to take advantage of these changes? I believe that God is presenting us with new, and perhaps better, ways of carrying out His kingdom work. The call is for us to be still and listen to what God wants to tell us.