sabbath...a day apart

The Old Testament prescribes a day of rest as a day made holy by God. It is called Shabbat (translated Sabbath).

A brief reading of his instructions for Sabbath clarifies his intentionality in it.

A brief reading of the Gospels demonstrates Jesus' keeping of it and habits within it.

A brief glimpse into our lives would most certainly expose a desperate need of it.

As with all good things, I believe Shabbat is a gift. Jesus even describes it this way: "Shabbat was made for man."

Who made it? Our Maker. And the Bible is clear: "Every good and perfect thing is from above" (James 1:17).

My family and community are fully aware that many believers of God and followers of Jesus do not feel compelled to keep a Sabbath, or day of rest, and that many believe it is no longer an obligation for the church. Their reasons are often many and their viewpoints are widely varied.

We have reflected deeply on such perspectives and we respect the decisions others have made about observing it differently or not at all.

Yet still, we personally feel Shabbat is a standing invitation, and we are finding remarkable joy in responding to it with an affirmative, yes, please.    

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“Shabbat shalom...”

Those were two of the sweetest words I heard

living in Israel. This simple social greeting made its way

into people’s conversation Friday morning, and indicated

that the seventh day was drawing near.

For many it would mean a day off of work, a day with

no traffic on the street, and a day to gather with family.

As a non-Jewish person in Jerusalem,

it meant those things to me as well.                                          

As a mom, it meant I would prepare a little more on this day in order to do a little less the next.

As a family, it meant we would linger longer over meals, take walks on the traffic-free streets, and bless God for our togetherness.