Some New Thoughts on Sabbath

I once had a ministry supervisor say to me: “Sabbath’s are encouraged, just don’t let your sabbath interfere with your work.”

When I came back at that comment with: “I think that’s actually the point of a sabbath: to interfere with and interrupt our work,” there was some back tracking, but the point was clear. You are here to work, don’t let anything get in the way of that!

Amy and I have tried to sabbath throughout our life together to varying degrees of success.
To be honest, we haven’t been that good at it.
We haven’t let sabbathing interfere with our work.

One of our commitments in this new chapter was to start practicing some good habits right out of the gate.

Monday is our sabbath. So, far we’ve done a good job of it. No work, ministry, or prep takes place on Mondays. Just family stuff.

Sometimes we go to Costco.
Sometimes we explore Oakland.
Sometimes we just stay home and make pancakes.
Sometimes we go to the park and then to a great family cafe for lunch (this is our favorite).

We don’t check much email (I don’t check my work email at all).
We don’t do too many chores.
We do try to have fun.
We are absolutely with each other.

I titled this post “new thoughts,” but really there are no new thoughts, just a better, more disciplined practice.

And it really is making a difference.

We all recover from Sunday.
It reorders and prioritizes the week.
It is renewing and refreshing and all the things sabbath is supposed to be.

I know this will grow more challenging and more disruptive as we move into future phases: Amy returning to work, the kids going to school, sports and activities, more ministry opportunities and pressures.

 But I’m also beginning to see that we can’t give this up. The day may have to change, but the day off never should.

My new thought on sabbath is that this is yet another area of life that requires discipline. And discipline is hard, but rewarding. We are reaping the benefits.

Please, friends, let sabbath interrupt your work.

It’s worth it.


5 thoughts on “Some New Thoughts on Sabbath

  1. Great post, Steve. We, too, have been working on trying to be more consistent in taking a Sabbath. We don’t really have the problem of it interfering with our work, but it gets messed up by things like grocery shopping, invitations to events we feel obligated to attend, etc. But you’re so right that we cannot give it up.

  2. I was teaching preschoolers about God’s provision of manna and quail this morning. It was a little complex to explain one omer per day except for the sixth day when you get for two days, but I have been chewing on that concept. Exodus 16:19-30. I love that glimpse straight into God’s heart about how serious he is about sabbath–making the provision for it and enforcing it–for our good.

    One of the things I have been wrestling with as a person who is paid by a church for ministry: the purposes of sabbath are rest and worship and fellowship, right? So should I be doing Sundays in a completely different way so that it would be rest for me? What could that possibly look like? How did the Levite’s observe the Sabbath?

    Just been wondering about some of these things.

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