Sabbath is Freedom

Friday, September 6, 2013

It used to be that every Sunday after church we would go to the grocery store for a newspaper, a gallon of milk, and some little treat for the boys. We would sit in the car while Daddy ran in, expectations high for Casava chips, or maybe a cookie.

Now, we subscribe to the paper and our Sunday routine has changed. But the essence of that family tradition, being together, even for the simple things, remains. Sundays have become more and more sacred to us as a family, not just because we go to church, but because it is a day for us to rest and be together.

Recently, our pastor talked about the Sabbath. He said it's not about rules, it's about freedom. The Sabbath - a day of rest, a time to pause - is a gift to us from God. It is about release, renewal, relief and restoration. It is about burdens being lifted, which Jesus demonstrated so literally when he "broke the law" and healed a stooped woman on the Sabbath. Luke 13:10-17

I've been thinking about how to make Sundays, our Sabbath, more restorative and renewing for our family. One answer is to be free, that day, from so many of the weekly demands on our time. Hanging out together is the priority, not rushing from one activity to the next. We haven't discussed this, or made any hard and fast rules. Sometimes Sundays are busy. Sometimes we are off in different directions. But mostly, we're not. It can be hard to say no or work harder on other days in order to protect that time, but the freedom from the rush that results is refreshing.

The boys enjoy getting lost in uninterrupted imaginary play. Jim and I savor actually reading the paper, a book, or a magazine. We leave the beds unmade, watch a game, ride bikes, catch up on laundry, cook a real dinner, or go on one unrushed errand. These simple, restorative rhythms make Sunday a luxury. It is a gift from God, worthy of thanks.
How do you think of the Sabbath?
Any routines or traditions that make it special for you?

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