What to INCLUDE for True Sabbath | Sabbath Series Part 3

July 5, 2021

Today I’m going to share with you three things that you want to make sure to include in a Sabbath day so that it’s a true Sabbath that is rejuvenating and worshipful, and not just another day off to speed through.

I’m not an expert, but I’ve been slowly learning how to Sabbath with my family for the last three years. At first, I just tried to take a day off to rest and relax, but it would honestly be really difficult, because I would always remember some chores that I needed to do, or my daughter would need me to attend to her, or I’d get into a disagreement with my wife because we had different expectations for the day.

Has that ever happened to you?

You see, these are the types of things that we discussed as stuff that you should try and NOT do on a Sabbath last week. That’s not because chores are bad, or attending to children is bad, or working through disagreements is bad. No, it’s because if you’re unintentional with crafting your Sabbath, it can become just a day off, or worse, something that feels like a burden or a “have to.”

Sabbath is not just a day off to do whatever we want. It’s a day set aside (remember when we talked about how the word “holy” means “set aside”) to help reorient us in our worship of God.

Sabbath is not just a day off to do whatever we want. It’s a day set aside to help reorient us in our worship of God.

The rest of the world is constantly telling us that we have to work to earn our worth, or that we aren’t good enough or don’t have enough to be happy. The Sabbath is a day to break free from that and be reminded that we are children of God and that He is enough for us and will continue to provide for us.

Three things to Include in a Sabbath Day

So what are the types of things we should INCLUDE in our Sabbath day to ensure we are reorienting ourselves to God’s presence with our family? Well, I’ve got three things for you, and they all start with the letter “R”: Rest, Replenish, and Restore.

1. Rest YOUR BODY

First, Rest your body. This might be a no-brainer, but a day of rest means literal rest! Take a nap. Lounge a little more than normal. I like to go out and lay in my hammock (that is, until my toddler wants to climb up with me and use me as a trampoline).

Does this mean you can’t work out at the gym, or you can’t lift things around the house? Of course not. There is grace in all of this, but it’s a good idea for you and your family to discuss what types of things you can include in your Sabbath that are physically restful.

2. Replenish your spirit

Second, Replenish your spirit. It’s no secret that laying on the couch all day and watching youtube videos might be physically restful, but it isn’t guaranteed to replenish you. So it’s a good idea to think of things that you and your family can DELIGHT in, not just be distracted by.

Laying on the couch all day and watching youtube videos might be physically restful, but it isn’t guaranteed to replenish you.

What are things that bring you joy? For me, grilling is definitely something that is restful and replenishes me. I also like going on a walk that is leisurely. And while I like to watch a movie with my family, I know that too much screen time has negative effects on all of us, so we try not to overdo it.

3. Restore your soul

Third, Restore your soul. Sabbath is a time for worship, so find some things that help you connect with God. Listen to music in the house. Take a walk in nature and slow down enough to really notice all the little incredible miracles along the way. Read a book that God is using in your life.

My wife likes to just lay in the sun for a few minutes and listen to the birds. I like to read a book in my hammock. Sometimes we listen to worship music during breakfast.

Again, these are all things that we GET to do as we learn how to enter into a restful, worshipful Sabbath with our family and with God. Don’t put pressure on yourself to get anything “perfect.” We’ll talk more about that next week, but for now, I want to hear from you:

What’s one way your family can practice DELIGHT in your Sabbath? Take a moment to ask each person what is something that brings them delight that they can share with the family and with God.

RESOURCES:

This list of Rest, Replenish, and Restore was taken from Ruth Haley Barton’s excellent blog series on Sabbath. I highly recommend reading through all five parts and seeing how it brings creativity to your journey of following Jesus in a Sabbath practice.

This is part 3 of a series. Follow the links below for the other parts:

  1. What is Sabbath and Why Should Everyone Do It?
  2. What NOT to Do for Sabbath
  3. What to INCLUDE for True Sabbath
  4. Stumble Forward Into Sabbath

Drew S Williams

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