Monday, June 20, 2011

Day of Rest

"Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the LORD your God has commanded you.” Out of Deuteronomy, that’s pretty straight forward, right? That is, unless you’re one of those who believe the Ten Commandments, along with the rest of the Old Testament, is irrelevant today. I’d like to point out that if we didn’t have the Old Testament, we wouldn’t have the prophecies fulfilled by the coming of Christ. They go hand in hand.

I’m a Jewish Christian, that is, a completed Jew. And in believing that Yeshua, Jesus, came to complete the law and not abolish it, the Sabbath is not only relevant but good for us. There are often numerous reasons, and not just one, why God sets something into place. Take eating kosher, for instance—which my family did while I was growing up. You’ll find the foods considered “unclean” were/are unhealthy for our bodies.

So what does observing the Sabbath mean, other than attending church? “Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your ox, your donkey or any of your animals, nor the alien within your gates, so that your manservant and maidservant may rest, as you do.”

God initiated this example on the seventh day of Creation. It’s a memorial to him, to admire all that he’s done, to worship, reflect, and rest. Although I don’t get too hung-up on the do’s and do not’s—for we are no longer slaves to the law—such as which day is the real seventh day Sabbath…Saturday or Sunday. “Sabbath,” the general term meant a time of rest designated by God, extending from evening to evening. I do think it’s important that we observe some sort of official respite. It’s good for us!

As a kid, my family did not labor on Shabbat, which included mowing the lawn, gardening, working on projects around the house, etc. We only worshipped, we rested, oh—and we could read.

I guess I’ve carried some of that over into my adult life. Personally, I make it a rule not to work during “the” designated time to rest. This means, for me, even writing. Even though I love to write and usually have a difficult time walking away from it, I find that if I refrain from turning on the computer and/or getting sucked into checking emails, etc., if I do not deliberate dialogue or think plot scenarios, I’m more refreshed in creativity the following day! I can start the week anew, rejuvenated, and rejoicing—something that naturally progresses from a day dwelling in the Lord’s presence, reflecting only on him.

Besides adding depth and meaning to my spiritual life, drawing closer to my Savior, I’m also a stronger writer if I put the manuscripts and literary projects aside for a day. It’s a win-win concept, and the Holy Spirit is a genius. God only has our best interests at heart. If he said to rest, we ought to do so and take pleasure in it.


  1. I grew up on a farm, which meant work from sun to sun and often into the night, but on Sunday, we rested. What a blessed day! Time when my Dad could take us on long walks in the woods. Time to visit with friends and family. Time for an afternoon nap. Time to read without feeling guilty.

    In those days, the community rested too -- no stores were open, no committees met, not even business telephone calls. The day of rest meant refreshment for everyone.
    Although I still rest personally on Sunday, in our money-crazed culture, I miss the peacefulness of a day when everyone took a deep breath.

  2. You've painted a lovely picture here, Alice. Makes me sigh deeply with longing. :) Thanks for sharing.

  3. I am often tempted to work on Sunday afternoon, especially if I don't feel like I have accomplished enough the previous week, but as you say, I am much fresher and more creative on Monday morning if I haven't spent Sunday at the computer. I guess the Lord knew what he was doing. :-)

  4. There is something to be said for the rhythmic cycle, the cadence at which the Lord would have us live our lives. For everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven. Thank you for reminding us to march to His beat, not our own.

  5. I struggled with the need to rest/take a sabbath, especially from writing, and the feeling that if I took that amount of time off I would NEVER keep up. Then I followed my daughter's suggestion, and set my own sabbath hours. I take a sabbath from writing from 5 pm Saturday to 5 pm Sunday. I allow myself the freedom to go onto my computer or the Internet if there's something I want to look at, but I do no actual writing, or anything to do with a writing project, during that time. Surprise! I come back refreshed, and still get the same amount done.

  6. Wonderful comments, y'all. I appreciate your expressions pertaining to a day of rest.

  7. As writers, it seems important to be accurate. You write some lovely comments about enjoying a "day of rest" on Sunday. However, I'm sure you are aware that the origin of the weekly "sabbath" is of God, Himself. He declared the seventh day of the week is the sabbath. Nor did he stutter when He said it.
    You all appear to be lovely people. May God's peace be with you.