Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Sabbath

Sundays were our Sabbath growing up. We didn't go to movies on Sunday or go shopping or out to eat. Sometimes we had to stop for milk on the way home from church- there were seven in our family. The idea was that we did not wish to support businesses that required their employees to work on Sunday. My parents didn't do any chores, although they often had company for the noon meal.

I'm a grown-up now. How do I observe the Sabbath? Well, we don't shop or go to movies. We rarely eat out in general, so even rarer do we eat out on a Sunday. When we do, I feel guilty. I don't do laundry or clean or do yard work. Jamey and I have had discussions about what constitutes a "chore" or work on Sundays. If it is something that is enjoyable, is that a chore? Woodworking? Gardening? Is that work?

Having young children makes Sundays anything but restful. Somehow they sense that we have more free time and therefore become very needy. It ends up making us all grouchy. Maybe that's why we can think up "enjoyable" chores that need doing.

We need rest. We need rejuvenation. We need to acknowledge that the Sabbath requires respect and should be lived differently. It's the fourth commandment, for goodness sake. "Remember the Sabbath day to keep it Holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work; but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God: in it you shall not do any work...."

How do we do that during this life stage? What makes your Sabbath different from the other six days of the week? How do you set it apart?

Whatever I do, I must give credit where credit is due...

I love the Lord, because He has heard the voice of my supplication;
because he has inclined His ear to me whenever I called upon Him.
Gracious is the Lord and righteous; our God is full of compassion.
How shall I repay the Lord for all He has done for me?
I will lift up the cup of salvation and call upon the Name of the Lord,
I will fulfill my vows to the Lord in the presence of all His people,
In the courts of the Lord's house, in the midst of you, O Jerusalem.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm 116
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  1. I'm glad to hear that others still practice a Sabbath rest. I've been doing an occasional blog on this topic over at River Rock Cottage. Right now it is Saturday evening and we have put in a full 6 day work week - whether it has been school, a job, yard work, canning, cleaning, etc. But what a blessed joy - tomorrow is the Lord's Day and we will spend the entire day worshiping in the morning and enjoying friends and down time in the afternoon and evening. It's a gift from the Lord!

  2. We do "take it easy" on Sunday...but I still stop at the store if necessary...I've been known to do some canning (although I consider that tidy up the yards now and then... But I'm thinking that we should be more mindful of it...more ready for it...thank you for the wake up!

  3. Living on an old order farm, we are kind of "forced" not to do any chores. I'm glad for that. Otherwise I"m not sure we would actually rest, but now that we have been for 5 years, I think we will keep it up :)

  4. I appreciate this post! So often today we find that the Christian Sabbath or Lord's Day (Sunday) is just like any other day of the week. Our gracious and loving God created us with a need for rest one day in seven and it is for our good that we take it! :)

    I have four children and over the years we have sought to instill in them the preciousness of Sunday. Our street is one of those where the kids can play...I suppose you might say we live in an "old fashioned" neighbourhood. Sunday is no exception, but our children are not out there...which makes it a little quieter.

    We attend church in the morning and evening and seek to keep the afternoons as family time. We will have people over, but we refrain from eating out for the reason mentioned below.

    This is a side note on the "It's Sunday...Mom's day at a restaurant" mentality. I was a waitress in a family restaurant when only 19 years of age. I WANTED to have Sundays off because it was my worshipping day, but it was a VERY busy day and they wouldn't give me the day off. I have often thought it is a form of persecution that Christians are required to work in non-essential industries on the Lord's Day. (Eventually, after rising in the ranks, I was granted Sundays off). I was one of only two Christians (that I know of) that worked at this particular restaurant, but NO ONE wanted to work. Why??? The Christians came in, their kids were unruly, they left a BIG mess and rarely left TIPS! Hmmmm...what is the testimony we leave behind? Food for thought. But I digress...

    We have "Sunday books" for reading at our house and special colouring books for the little ones. When the children were younger, we ALL had naps...lovely! :) Sunday walks are wonderful too.

    May we cherish the freedom we have to rest on the Lord's truly is a blessing!

  5. Typically we lounge around and get into our pj's and go to bed around 6pm on Sundays. I think it really helps if you can relax and "rest up" for the new week ahead....I remember one of my favorite neighbors stopped by with her 3 sisters one Sunday evening to look at our curtains....and there I was my flamingo pj's....I think if you don't stop and take pause once a week it would feel like "it never ends"...whatever "it" is.

  6. Thank you for the beautiful post on the Sabbath. The Sabbath day is a very important rest day for our family also. When my kids were young it was hard for them to not go outside and play with their friends. Eventually their friends came to respect our beliefs on Sunday.
    By resting from shopping and work, it helps us to come closer as a family when we go to church together and then spend time talking or playing games. It helps to rejuvinate our bodies and soul.
    It is wonderful to hear that God still has important place in many peoples lives.


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