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Is Keeping the Sabbath Relevant Today?

In a world that seems to never slow down, the concept of taking a day of rest can seem like an outdated notion. However, the Sabbath has been a significant part of many religious traditions for centuries. So, is keeping the Sabbath relevant today? Let's explore this question and see what the Bible says about it, examine some studies on the importance of rest for our health, practical tips for implementing the Sabbath, how to teach kids to sabbath, and different ideas around the Sabbath.

Is Keeping the Sabbath Relevant Today

Bible Verses that Reference the Sabbath:

The Sabbath is first mentioned in Genesis 2:2-3, where God rested on the seventh day of creation and set it apart as a day of rest. The Sabbath is also included in the Ten Commandments, which were given to Moses on Mount Sinai. Exodus 20:8-11 states, "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it, you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy."

The Sabbath is also mentioned in the New Testament, where Jesus says in Mark 2:27, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath." This statement reinforces the idea that the Sabbath was given as a gift to humanity for our benefit.

Studies About Needing One Day of Rest Per Week:

In recent years, there has been an increasing amount of research into the importance of rest for our health. One study published in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology found that people who take regular breaks during the day are more productive, experience less fatigue, and have better overall health. Another study published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior found that people who take time off from work have lower levels of stress and better mental health.

There is also evidence to suggest that taking a day of rest each week can improve our physical health. One study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that people who take a weekly day of rest have a lower risk of heart disease. Another study published in the International Journal of Behavioral Medicine found that taking a day off work each week can reduce the risk of burnout.

Is Keeping the Sabbath Relevant Today

Practical Tips for Implementing the Sabbath:

Implementing the Sabbath into our lives can be challenging, especially if we are used to being constantly busy. Here are some practical tips to help make the transition easier:

  • Plan ahead: Decide on a day of the week that works best for you and plan ahead to ensure that you have everything you need. This might mean doing some meal prep in advance or making sure that you have enough reading material to keep you occupied.

  • Disconnect: Turn off your phone, computer, and any other devices that might distract you. This will help you to disconnect from the outside world and focus on the present moment.

  • Practice self-care: Use your Sabbath day as an opportunity to take care of yourself. This might mean taking a long bath, going for a walk, or spending time with loved ones.

  • Do something restful: The Sabbath is not just about avoiding work; it's also about doing things that are restful and rejuvenating. This might mean reading a book, taking a nap, or spending time in nature.

Teaching Kids to Sabbath:

Teaching kids about the importance of rest and Sabbath can be challenging, but it's essential to help them develop healthy habits and values that they can carry with them into adulthood. Here are some ideas for teaching kids to Sabbath:

  • Make it fun: Kids are more likely to enjoy the Sabbath if they see it as something fun and exciting. Plan activities that they will enjoy, such as going for a hike or having a family game night.

  • Keep it simple: Kids don't need elaborate plans or activities to enjoy the Sabbath. Keep things simple and focus on spending quality time together as a family.

  • Model Sabbath rest: Kids learn by example, so make sure that you are modeling Sabbath rest in your own life. If they see you taking time to rest and recharge, they are more likely to do the same.

  • Explain the why: Help kids understand why the Sabbath is important and how it can benefit them. Explain that it's a day to rest, spend time with family, and connect with God.

  • Implement Quiet Time: In our home we have a two hour quiet time every Sunday. This is a time where we all go into our rooms, close the doors, disconnect from technology, and truly rest. The kids might spend this time quietly playing with toys, reading, or actually resting. My husband and I usually take this time to nap, or I'll read a book or spend time in my bible. 

Is Keeping the Sabbath Relevant Today

Different Ideas Around Sabbath:

There are many different ideas around what it means to Sabbath today. Some people believe that it's essential to avoid all work and spend the day in solitude and silence, while others see it as a day to spend time with loved ones and do things that bring them joy. Here are some examples of how different people choose to Sabbath:

  • Sabbath in nature: Some people prefer to spend their Sabbath in nature, whether that's going for a hike or spending the day at the beach. Being surrounded by nature can be restorative and help to recharge our batteries.

  • Digital detox: For many people, the Sabbath is a day to unplug and disconnect from technology. This can be a great way to reduce stress and focus on being present in the moment.

  • Creative pursuits: Some people use their Sabbath as an opportunity to explore their creative side, whether that's painting, writing, or playing music. Engaging in creative pursuits can be restful and rejuvenating.

  • Community connection: For some people, the Sabbath is a day to connect with their community, whether that's attending church or spending time with friends and family.

In conclusion, the concept of Sabbath has been around for centuries, and there is evidence to suggest that taking a day of rest each week can have significant benefits for our health and well-being. While the idea of Sabbath might seem outdated in today's fast-paced world, there are many practical tips and different ideas around what it means to Sabbath today that can make it relevant and meaningful for people of all ages and backgrounds. Whether you choose to spend your Sabbath in nature, engage in creative pursuits, or connect with your community, the important thing is to prioritize rest and recharge your batteries for the week ahead.

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