Archive for June 23rd, 2007

Making the Sabbath Special

Saturday, June 23rd, 2007

Please read Exodus 20:1-17 (NRSV) (The Message) out loud if possible.

As you read, consider these questions: What might God be saying to me in this passage? At the end of the reading, try to summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two before reading on.

My thoughts on this passage (Morgan Stewart):

This passage is the listing of the Ten Commandments, also called the Decalogue. Some of the laws are also found in legal codes of other ancient nations and are of universal application. If you were given the chance, what would be on your list of Ten Commandments for humanity?

Probably one of the most overlooked commandments today and one of my favorite scriptures is “remembering the Sabbath.”

During Jesus’ time, the Sabbath was an entire day (sundown Friday until sundown Saturday) set apart to rest. After His death, the day of celebration was moved to Sunday marking the day of His resurrection. Thus, Sunday still remains the most commonly celebrated Sabbath.

While today’s fast-paced world requires many persons to work on Sunday (including our church staff!), most of us have the opportunity to control our work load on the weekend.

So, just how special is Sunday at your house? Does your “Sabbath” celebration begin and end with church attendance? Is your day like any other, filled with endless laundry, shopping, and other chores? Are you teaching your children that Sundays are different? That’s what “holy” really means — different, or set apart from the ordinary.

Here are some suggestions for making Sundays special:

  • Make it a time for family or friends. Have a “no TV” day and plan an outing/game together instead.
  • Have couple/family devotion time.
  • Ask all family members to plan ahead and rest from doing the usual (chores, yard work, etc.).
  • Establish certain toys as “Sunday” toys and allow children to play with them only on Sunday.
  • Spend some extra time in prayer and/or Bible study.

Thought for the day: The Sabbath is God’s antidote to burnout and a gift to us.

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
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