Title: The Wisdom & Freedom of the Sabbath

The Wisdom and Freedom of the Sabbath

Genesis 1:1 states,

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”

The very first words of the Bible describe the power and creative aspect of God. The following verses go through and describe in what order everything was created, but what I want to draw attention to is what God does at the end of His creation….He rests.

Genesis 2:2 states,

“By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.”

Even God rested!

Many times, we walk through life speeding from one task to another and hoping that we don’t forget anything or anyone. This is especially true when you are a parent. There is a never-ending supply of soccer games, dance recitals, school plays, band concerts, baseball games, softball games, volleyball games, piano lessons, etc… At times, it seems as if it will never end and we simply plug along and making sure everyone gets to where they need to go. Unfortunately, this can result in a lifestyle in which your marriage and spiritual development of the family takes the backseat behind these tasks.

God knew that we would be busy.

He knew we would struggle with prioritization. He knew that we would sacrifice important things because we were busy. He also knew that we would be so busy that we would forget to spend time with Him. God created the Sabbath because it is needed and because it is extremely important. When I was recently in Israel, our trip allowed us to witness Shabbat twice. Shabbat means sabbath (rest) and the Jewish people celebrate this from sundown on Friday evening until the following evening. There is no work to be done during Shabbat and this time is meant for celebration, family, the studying of scripture, and rest. Many businesses are fully closed during this time to honor the Sabbath as well.

I am old enough to remember when most businesses here in the U.S.A. were closed on Sundays. Kids’ soccer, volleyball, baseball games and tournaments would not even be considered to take place on a Sunday because that was a day meant for church, family, and rest. It was a day when families spent time together in church and at home to study the Bible, reconnect, enjoy each other’s company, visit family and rest.

I have to be honest…I miss those days.

In looking at society nowadays, it is hard to tell the differences between Sundays and any other day of the week. My wife and I had many uncomfortable conversations with coaches that scheduled practices or when tournaments and games were scheduled for Sundays. There were certain instances where we made exceptions, but those exceptions were rare. Our rule was Sunday was a day for church and family.

I would encourage each of you to think about something… What would happen if your family embraced the idea of a Sabbath? I know what you are thinking…. there is no way my family can do this. Here are a few tips to start a Sabbath Day:

  1. Prioritize the day.
  2. Start with going to church together.
  3. Make family meals a priority (This is also a great time to talk about and discuss the message from the morning or do a family devotional).
  4. Engage in activities that involve the entire family.
  5. Allow for downtime. (Take a family walk or play a game together. Do a family pizza movie night. )
  6. Allow time for rest so you can recharge your battery and get ready for the week ahead.

God has called parents to lead our families. If we begin to practice this idea of the Sabbath, we can also lead our kids into a practice of Sabbath where they can learn the value of resting in God and the fact that He loves them. It also provides some great family time.

Your partner in ministry,

Jeff Brown

Rockpointe Family Life Pastor