The Lord sanctified one day in the week and called it holy, a set-apart day—a Sabbath.

In Jewish communities around the world nightfall Friday begins the Jewish Sabbath. Throughout the day, flower vendors are busy, and the aroma of fresh bread fills the air. The brisk pace of preparation is everywhere. By afternoon the pace slows—shops close, customers in market areas gradually disappear and calm settles in streets and gathering places as the setting sun begins the Sabbath day, a special experience in the presence of Almighty God.

Bible mentions of sabbath occur more than one hundred times, half of those in the New Testament including Jesus’ teaching not to judge one another according to the keeping Sabbath in a legalistic or ritualistic way. It is His teaching on the reality and spiritual significance of keeping the Sabbath. That for six days men pursue ways that seem right to them but on the Sabbath Day, hearts recalibrate, soften, and focus on One whose way is perfect.   

As a Christian I cherish God’s provision of a day set apart, a day to concentrate on the Lord, a Sabbath day. Some don’t agree and think observing the Sabbath is legalistic carry-over from pre-Christian times. But I believe keeping the Sabbath is obedience to God’s Word of blessing for His people and that the spirit of the Sabbath is eternal.

For one thing, the Sabbath is holy, a day to rest. The Sabbath is God’s provision for the human body—to protect it from disease, heal the heart of heaviness, and relieve the mind of tension and driving routines. This slow down benefits the entire human being—spirit, soul and body—with recovery and gives a sense of refreshed vision and rekindled hope.  

Sabbath is time to gather family for a practical and spiritual protection of affections between family members, a time together without outside demands. Sabbath is a time to refocus on God’s goodness expressed in family with the Lord at the center, a time to slow the pace and allow time unlike other days in the week to experience His love, and re-focus ours.

Shabbat Shalom! 

Amen.

Genesis 2:2-3Mark 2:27-28Matthew 5:17-18Verses@Once