Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Enjoying a Sabbath Rest

Practical Strategies For Honoring The Sabbath
by Nancy Sleeth

Sabbath observance invites us to stop. It invites us to rest. It asks us to notice that while we rest the world continues without our help. It invites us to delight in the world’s beauty and abundance. - Wendell Berry, Foreword to Living the Sabbath by Norman Wirzba

How can you be more intentional about your Sabbath rest? Jesus says that it’s the spirit of the law, not the letter, that matters. Your Sabbath traditions can be negative—no shopping,no Internet cruising or emailing, no eating out. Or, they can be positive—reading a family book out loud, playing board games, going on a prayer walk.

Adapt a few of the suggestions below to create your own Sabbath rituals. Our family cleans the house together the day before the Sabbath. We’ve been doing this for years; it takes about 40 minutes for us to clear up clutter, dust, vacuum, scrub bathrooms, wash floors, and deep clean the kitchen. The reward is a relaxed home, with (almost!) everything in its place

To step fully into Sabbath time, take off your watch. Leave it in a drawer from sundown to sundown. Notice how many times you automatically look at your wrist to check the time; instead, use that glance as a prompt to thank God for the gift of rest, so necessary for the renewal of life.

We not only need to cease working; we need to cease worrying about not working. Try putting away anything that reminds you of work. Shut down the computer. Don’t answer email. Place your wallet, palm pilot, and unpaid bills in a drawer. Close the door to your home office. Reminders of chores left undone, calls that need to be returned, and long to-do lists will interfere with the full rest that God wants us to enjoy.

One of our favorite Sabbath rituals is to take a Sabbath walk. Observe and investigate. Enjoy watching the caterpillar nibble a leaf, marvel at the new buds that are forming, watch a gathering of birds peck for food in the ground. Read the entire article.

This website is sponsored by The Herbs Place, distributor of Nature's Sunshine herbs, supplements, essential oils and more at wholesale prices.

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