I have always wanted to do a better job at resting on the Sabbath or the day we have off to worship. Some weeks are better than others. As a mom, I often see chores that need to be done or as a teacher, papers that need to be graded. In Deut. 5, the 10 commandments are restated and again God asks that the people "observe the Sabbath day and keep it holy." Why? In verse 15, it says "Remember that you were once slaves in Egpyt, but the Lord your God brought you out with His strong hand and powerful arm. That is why the Lord your God has commanded you to rest on the Sabbath." What does this mean? To me, it means two things. The first is that the Sabbath needs to be a day where we remember and think about who God is and what He has done for us. We are to remember. Secondly, I think it is a reminder that we need to trust God in his provision. If He could rescue the people from Egpyt, He can handle us taking a day off of working. Sometimes our work on the Sabbath is a way of not trusting that God will provide for us. I am not saying that work should never be done on the Sabbath. I still work and fix meals for my family. Emergencies arise. Life happens. But am I truly planning ahead to rest and focus on God on this day or using the day as a catch up day for the week? It is something that I have been working on and will be even more challenging as I start teaching in the fall.
Out of curiousity, I looked at Exodus 20 to see if the "why" was the same. In verse 11, it says "For in six days, God made the heavens, earth, the sea and everything in them; on the seventh day he rested. That is why the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy." Even though the reason is different the principle is similar. God made a provision of rest for us. The God of the universe rested. It makes sense that we will need rest and God has blessed that.
In the past some of the things I have done to make my "Sabbath" more restful are as follows.
1. Make easy meal plans for the day or eat leftovers, leaving the dishes until the next day.
2. Plan ahead with grading of papers and other such tasks even if it means putting in a few extra hours on another day.
3. In the afternoon, plan some down time to nap or read.
4. Use this time to spend with my kids playing a game. In the evening we often will often watch a movie together as a family and eat popcorn.
5. Use this day to fellowship and connect with neighbors and friends.
As tomorrow will be my Sabbath, I am hoping to observe it as God would want me to. Not in a legalistic way but remembering that God loves me and wants his best for me which is time with Him and time to rest.
I would love to hear suggestions on how you have made your Sabbath special and restful for you and your family.
Dear God, Thank you that you have provided a day of rest for us where we can refocus and especially focus on you. Thank you for your example and provision. Amen