On Sabbath in the 21st Century

Sabbath rest in the 21st century begins with honoring the commandment and its Creator. We looked at this in a previous post, but there are two additional areas to explore.

#3 Honor Yourself

Are you familiar with activities that are delightful and restorative? It’s a powerful combination. Most of us know what we enjoy, but sometimes those activities aren’t necessarily restorative. Experiment. Try out some activities that are both enjoyable and restorative. Not sure where to begin?

Ask yourself, “What do I need? or “What does my family need?” or “Where am I running on the fumes of an empty tank?”

After living through this past week, does one need rise above the others? Are you feeling physically depleted? Spiritually dry? Emotionally empty? Relationally weary or wanting? Don’t gloss over this list. Ask yourself these questions. It’s an important place to begin.

Then prioritize those needs as much as possible. Some of us are facing overwhelming challenges that have us ‘in-over-our-heads.” Sabbath keeping during these intense seasons of life must be sculpted by a level of immense creativity and commitment. It gives the word “challenging” new meaning, but it is possible. (Stay tuned. Infusing quiet into chaos is a topic near and dear to my heart.)

Top Picks to consider

  • Sleep. Prioritize it. Enjoy it. Feel no guilt.
  • Do what delights you. Find pleasure in simple things.
  • Unplug.
  • Tag team. If you have small children, 2-hour blocks work great.
  • Don’t cook. I don’t, but please, please do if it’s a source of joy and delight.
  • Get outside. Try to make this a priority.
  • FFF “forced” family fun may not work. It never did for us, but a simple tradition did. When our kids were little, we roasted mini-marshmallows with toothpicks over candles. We still do!
  • Enjoy the people you love. Laugh out loud.
  • Enjoy the presence of God. On a walk, in a closet, through your worship, with a friend, on your knees, by a stream, in the Word.

Allow your heart free reign to dream. Then set a course.

#4 Honor Others

We are a generation with no model, method, nor mentors in the arena of Sabbath rest. It’s foreign territory—mysterious and unexplored. Be a pioneer. Take the path less traveled. Place a priority and create an atmosphere in your home where Sabbath rest is welcomed and honored as a day of devotion and delight.

Others will take note.

Your weekly commitment to a rhythm of work and rest might be what God uses to ignite a hunger in others for this rhythm made in heaven.

Our job? Run hard. Give it all you’ve got but set apart time this week to let out a deep sigh and rest.

Rest well.




Note: This post is part of our original series on rest. We are re-posting some of our favorite articles because we believe they’re just as important today as ever. We hope you’re challenged to think of rest in a fresh new way. 

First time here?

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.