To me, there is something magical about the Sabbath. My religious history is a bit strange. I was raised with a mix of various flavors of Judaism along with pretty much the whole gamut of Protestantism (evangelical, mainline, charismatic…) I am thankful for the diversity that I was exposed to, and it has made for an interesting transition to finding the best fit for worship in my life.
It seems like every few years I go through a new (deeper) frustration with the evangelical church in America. There is a series on Internet Monk right now that almost perfectly sums up our issues. I am lucky to have an amazing husband who has dealt with the same frustrations. Why does the mainstream evangelical church in America look and feel so WRONG? Why are they (and I can’t even say “we”, because I can’t self-identify with them at this point) living, as the post on Internet Monk says, “of the world, but not in it.”
We know that we want to be DOING more of what Jesus taught, rather than just sitting in an auditorium and participating in a liturgy-that-pretends-to-not-be-because-they’re-too-cool-for-that. The problem is in finding how to live that out in the midst of our insanely busy lives. We have no problem finding other believers who feel the same way that we do, but they’re all so busy too!
One solution that has worked well for us (over the past 5 years or so) to reducing the “busyness” is to celebrate a more traditional Sabbath. The site above is nice because it has some bullet points to point you in the right direction if celebrating a Sabbath is new for you. Taking the intentional time to unplug, light some candles, make a special dinner, and enjoy it with those you love can make such a difference. Taking the following day to serve and seek spiritual nourishment is amazing. Those times have given us SO much more growth than any other spiritual practice.
I am excited to see where God leads us next. Our journey as a family has been so rewarding, and my husband and I have discussed many times how humbling it is to look back. I cannot speak highly enough of the value of traditional spiritual disciplines, especially if looking at the American church makes you feel like crying.
Nice post! While our belief structure is very different from yours, we’ve made it a point to have a sabbath too (ours is tied to the moon phases). We have a night where we turn off the TV, the computers, the lights etc. We use candles and cook on the grill outside (even in the dead of winter). We spend the time after dinner playing games as a family or just chatting. It has been amazing to see how much enrichment this has brought our family. It is sometimes easy to lose sight of your spirituality in the midst of everything else going on. Setting aside the time to ignore all that other stuff and just focus on ourselves is truly a great blessing.
Buffy Garber says
good stuff, as always.
we’ve “done Sabbath” periodically throughout our marriage — prompted by a book we received at our wedding.
After stumbling on this blog, I must tell you that I’m really enjoying it! I grew up with a Sabbath (Christian Reformed) with a lot of restrictions, all of which I have become lax about in my own life. I think about it often, the need to break up the pace of our week with a day of peace, quiet and doing little. I can definitely see how the Sabbath was made for our benefit.
Thanks for your thoughts!