Sunday, February 22, 2009

Keeping the Sabbath

When Jason was on staff at a church full time, Sundays were anything EXCEPT a day of rest. It was more like running a marathon, only the people on the sidelines were a lot more critical and oppressive. They'd point out our poor running form instead of offering us a cup of water.

By the time we got home from lunch each Sunday, we only had a few minutes to catch our breath before the scheduled committee meetings, discipleship groups, and general Sunday evening activities. If there was a post-church fellowship, we might not even darken our home's doorstep until 9:00 or later since, as a staff member, you're expected to be at EVERY.THING. It was an exhausting schedule and, while some may consider it noble, I'm not convinced it was how the Lord intended the Sabbath day to be.

Fast forward a few years and you would find us attending a new church that intentionally kept the weekly schedule "lean." There were NO Sunday night services. Amen and Hallelujah! We could almost feel the heavens part and see the rays of light shining from the windows of the church building at the good news!

Our Sunday nights evolved into an incredible time of fellowship as we opened our home to many other families. We'd all get together each Sunday evening, enjoy dinner together and just hang out. It seemed to be altogether closer to what real church should be.

But even after experiencing significantly different church approaches to Sunday evenings, I'm personally still trying to figure out exactly HOW to "remember the Sabbath." As a full time mom and a full time working gal, there is so much to accomplish when I'm home and so I (unfortunately) end up trying to accomplish much of it on the weekends. Of course, there's usually too much to finish in the finite number of hours Saturday and Sunday afford anyway.

I had a conversation with a friend recently and she mentioned that, due to the number of tasks she has to complete on Sunday evening in order to prepare for Monday, she and her husband keep the Sabbath in the ancient Jewish tradition- from sun down on Saturday to sun down on Sunday, leaving a few hours Sunday evening to get everything in order to start the week.

Last Sunday, in passing, J. asked me what my plans were for Sunday afternoon. When I responded with a list a mile long, he gently reminded me that I deserve a day of rest also.

All of that combined got me to thinking that I don't do a great job at keeping the Sabbath and enjoying a day of rest. I never have really taken that commandment very seriously. So I've decided to take my friend's suggestion and start remembering the Sabbath from Saturday evening to Sunday evening. What I don't get done before the sun goes down on Saturday night will just have to wait until Sunday night. And I'll still have plenty of time Sunday night to get clothes laid out, straighten the house, and otherwise prepare for a busy Monday morning.

I certainly don't want to be legalistic about it. If there's some little chore that needs to be done and I feel that I've rested well, I'll take care of it during that time. And I'm definitely not talking about sitting around on my rear ignoring all responsibility (that lack of action is reserved for vacation! haha.) But generally, I DO want to rest and even when the chores are overwhelming and under-done, I think that glorifying the Lord by keeping his Sabbath is more important that keeping a great house. Amen!


  1. Amen Sister! I too find myself running around on Sundays getting chores done that I don't have time for during the week! Thanks for reminding me that it's ok to take a day just to rest!

  2. I think you did the right thing by following your heart. Sundays are definitely a day for worship and rest. I typically attend mass on Sunday mornings but on occasion I go on Saturday evenings. This way on Sundays I can truly have a day of rest. But I will say that on the days I don't go to mass on Sunday I miss it.

  3. Everyone deserves at least one day off - even mums adn wives. :)

  4. I wholeheartedly agree with your first paragraph. Sometimes all I want is a drink of water...

  5. Good for your for keeping your priorities in line. It's hard to just say no to all the demands of life and take time to be still, but I'm sure you'll be glad that you did!

  6. I think you hit the nail on the head. It's a right balance to find. Our church doesn't do Sunday evening services either, and I love it because it allows time with family and friends. Thanks for the sweet comment on my blog!


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