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Sabbath: A Day of Rest and Gladness

Updated on September 20, 2010
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Glendon and his wife have led church ministries, conducted empowerment seminars, and travelled to faraway places on business and vacation.

After reading a hub on stress relief by Lisa Beaman (fellow participant in the 60day Hub Challenge 2) I could not help but leave a comment that I had to disobey the tip on going to bed early while I was still seeking to write the 30 hubs in 30 days.

Adequate sleep is so essential to wellness. Rest is one of the eight true remedies given to us by God. I have been doing a series on the true remedies. If you are familiar with the Seventh-day Adventist’s approach to healthy lifestyle you would probably be aware of these eight steps:

1. Pure air

2. Rest

3. Exercise

4. Sunshine

5. Proper diet

6. Proper us of water

7. Temperance

8. Trust in God

A hymn writer describes the 7th day Sabbath as a day of rest and gladness. Rest is something we need as part of the daily rhythm of life. Like the heart the entire body must work and rest.

I Am The LORD who Makes You Holy

But the 7th day Sabbath was given as a day of rest and more.

The Lord instructs Moses in Exodus 31:13 "Tell the people of Israel: 'Be careful to keep my Sabbath day, for the Sabbath is a sign of the covenant between me and you from generation to generation. It is given so you may know that I am the LORD, who makes you holy.”

So the Sabbath is more than a day of physical rest, it is a day to celebrate the special relationship between humanity and the divine, the believer who observes the Sabbath is entering into a holy relationship. Sabbath-keeping in and of itself does not make one holy, but by faith in Holy God the obedient claims the holiness promised in here and elsewhere.

Danny Shelton and Shelley Quinn write in their brave little book Ten Commandments Twice Removed:

The object of the Sabbath is oneness with God – a day when we wholeheartedly concentrate on our relationship with Him. God wants us to call His holy day a delight, not a day of drudgery. (Is 58:13).

In our time starved world, we can become disjointed from relationships that should be our top priority. The Sabbath is a gift of time – a time for perfect reunion with God and family – a “time out’ that restores our peace and joy. (p.115)

No doubt as you consider the above quote you may reflect that in the homes of so many Sabbath-keeping Christians the Sabbath is not a day of rest and gladness but a day of drudgery, judgment, and punishment for any little slip-up. Don't give up. There is room for improvement.

Shelton and Quinn share several suggestions on How to Celebrate the Sabbath.  Of course I suggest you buy the book, but I will point out the essence of their suggestions:

1.       Preparation Throughout the week.  Don’t cram everything into the Friday Preparation Day.  Plan the entire week around the Sabbath.  For example my family (glendoncaba) we do our grocery shopping on Sunday and our laundry on Monday.  I must confess though that we still put too much of our commercial activity into Friday so we don’t segue into Sabbath with enough of a tapered off time. 

2.       Friday is Preparation Day.  The day to prepare meals and tidy the house for Sabbath. 

3.       Friday Sunset.  Bible system is sunset to sunset (Gen1:5) so we begin Sabbath at sunset on Friday.  Create s tradition of special Friday evening family activities.  In my family I try to spend most of the time on the children’s Bible lessons.   

4.       Sabbath Morning.  You enjoy Sabbath best when family is early.  Children should be provided with paper to make special notes during sermon.  Like how many times the preacher says God, Jesus, love, etc.   It has become fashionable for the children to sit apart from parents during the sermon.  I don’t like this at all.  I believe that families should sit together.

5.       Sabbath Afternoon.  Plan ahead for Sabbath lunch   Yu may enjoy fellowship dinner at church.  Or go home to heat up a prepared meal.  Or go to park for a Sabbath picnic with friends. 

Sabbath is more than church service.  You may:

a.       Celebrate God’s creation with activities like nature walk or bird watching.

b.      Celebrate God’s gift of music around family piano.

c.       Celebrate god’s mercy with deeds of love for orphanages or for homeless.

d.      Celebrate God’s Word with bible stories and bible games.

e.      Celebrate God’s rest.  Yea, a nap and a good Christian book.

f.        Celebrate prayer.  Work on a family prayer journal.

g.       Celebrate Family.  Affirm each family member as a part of God kingdom.

h.      Celebrate the Hope of Eternal Life.  Talk about the wonderful promises of new heaven and new earth.

6.       Coming to the Sabbath’s end.  Make the final meal light and fun says Shelton and Quinn.  Close the Sabbath with testimonies and prayer and commitment to serve the Lord.

Perhaps like me you are enjoying some of the above activities but fall short in some.  Look at the big picture and pray about your family entering into a true day of rest and gladness when Sabbath comes around.


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      Mary dicerni 7 years ago

      It is so nice to read about your Sabbath, and have an idea of what is done by others. It seems to change somewhat as we age, and children marry into other cultures. We sure do need that time to rest from earthly chores, and enjoy the beauty of earth. I still do not allow myself to sew anything that has ripped, on the Sabbath day. It has to wait. My husband would not allow me to go to my original church. We went to his, but he stayed outside, as he had a hangover. Such irony, as to be slave to a man in this day, but that was 1955, and I did not drive, and had a small baby. I know how grateful you are for such a great partner in life. It is still pretty rare. God bless.