The beauty of that passage comes with the understanding that the Sabbath is a day of rest, so our God is a God of rest. Jesus is Lord over resting. He appreciates it and values it. He demands it of us. At times, rest is thrust upon us through not heeding His word when we wind up sick. Mandatory Sabbath. It gives us freedom in knowing that He desires for us to rest. In a world that moves so fast and demands so much, our Father says to us, "I need you to rest." He does not demand a go, go, go - mentality. He actually only asks us to love and remain in His love.
I have incredible community of sisters and brothers around me that agrees with this necessity of rest. During the week, we go and do and love and bring the Kingdom together and support one another. But when Sabbath comes around, we rest. We are relaxed and enjoy just being around one another as we rest. Often, more than one of us will fall asleep as we are just hanging out. There is a certain level of intimacy with others to just fall asleep on them and nobody take any offense.
So yesterday, I hosted our resting Sabbath hang out. It began with just sitting around eating chips and salsa and then transitioned to sitting and talking in the living room. It didn't take long before we all felt the Presence fill the house and we worshiped and soaked. That quickly turned into prophesying over one another and encouraging each other with Father's heart, as well as our own personal encouragement for that person (the non-prophetic sort of "I personally love you and love x about you"). It was SO good. There were only 6 of us, four to begin with and two arriving in the midst of it. As the atmosphere shifted, so did we. We moved into just chatting again - I believe about sports. And then it was movie time. I made some of my specialty popcorn and we put on Tangled. I began to doze. I made it JUST after the amazing lanterns scene with the perfect song and apparently passed the heck out. I came to at some point, and I am still unsure what specifically awakened me. But I had a text message and everyone had left. Two people were just getting into their cars when I woke up. I laughed.
As I got up to get ready for bed, I was so honored to find that my family had taken the time while I was sleeping to clean up from our day - dishes in the sink, blankets folded, etc... Sometimes, for me, it is the small things that make me feel extra loved. But it made me appreciate our family as well. In the small things you find family, that they felt comfortable to clean in a house that wasn't their own, that they did not mind or were not offended at the fact that as the "hostess" I passed out while they were there, that we spent the day with no agenda and didn't require one in order to have fun, that we can have random fun and have more deliberate serious conversations in a flow from one to the other and back again.
The model Jesus gave us through His life for how to live in the Kingdom is this: family. We were made for community, for relationships, for love. Jesus does not define family as those who the Lord tangibly gave to us by blood, but to those who are in community and on mission with us. In Matthew 12:46-50, Jesus explains this:
"While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and borhters stood outside, wanting to speak to him. Someone told him, 'Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.'
He replied to him, 'Who is my mother and who are my brothers?' Pointing to his disciples, he said, 'Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.'"
Now that is not to negate the family the Lord gives us from birth, and the fact that His mom was there at the cross demonstrates that His comment was not to disown His family but to say, "You, right here with me, you are in my family - in my close community, I consider you on par in love with my family that is outside. So I am not going to leave this place to go talk with my family because your needs and your words are so important to me as well." It shows us that those who we have in intentional community are on par with an actual family. We can operate as fully functional families with the Father as the Patriarch.
With the family that is around me, I have come to this place that the fact that we can rest with one another is the greatest evidence of our family. We are a safe place for one another; a place where we can be wholly ourselves and can be edified and sharpened and restored through. I felt so loved when I woke up last night after my family left last night. I felt loved that they didn't mind I had slept. I felt loved that they let me rest. I felt loved that they cleaned up. I just felt so loved and felt so much love for them. So, I guess my statement goes, community that naps together is more than community, it's family; it's Kingdom.