For those who don’t know, I am a Seventh-day Adventist. For most of the three people reading this, that is not a shocker whatsoever, but hey, one of y’all may not have known.
As a Seventh-day Adventist, one of the things that people notice (besides the whole vegetarian thing) is the whole Sabbath thing. “You can’t work on Saturday? You can’t do x, y, or z?” It seems like there is always a negative connotation to it. Can’t do this, can’t do that.
Why is that?
I love my Sabbaths! I love that there is a God who cared enough about me and my sanity enough to set aside a day where I don’t have to work. A day of rest. I love that!
Now some might say that it was nailed to the cross (so now we can kill, steal, and always dishonor our parents, right?) but what would be the point of that? God creates something at the very beginning of the world and then 4000+ years later decides, meh! never mind?
To me, the Sabbath is a blessing in that it allows me to be able to have downtime. Time to recharge. Now for those who know me, I don’t exactly sit still around on Sabbaths. We tend to be all over West Texas and New Mexico seemingly every weekend. But for me, it is a rest not having to worry about getting this website finished or that thing designed. To allow myself to look and think on other things is a break I don’t necessarily get all week. It’s a happy day for me. So I say to you: Happy Sabbath!
So over the last couple of years I’ve been really trying to learn more about what the Sabbath is really about. I grew up Adventist and going to church on Sabbath (Saturday) was normal. After I got married I found that my wife’s family (also Adventist) felt that some things were okay for Sabbath and other things were not – things that were different than what I had grown up being told were okay or not okay.
What I’ve really been trying to find out is how much of what I do (or don’t do) is because of how I was raised / tradition and how much is really what God says is acceptable / permissible / encouraged.
My wife and I got to listen to a great series of sermons by Jonathan Henderson about the Sabbath and it’s really changed our perspective a bit, about how the Sabbath is really about rest, like a weekly holiday. He also talks about how it’s not a day of worship, that we shouldn’t confine worship to one day but worship every day; that’s one of those things I had never really thought about but really makes sense. It’s not that we can’t or shouldn’t worship on that day, it’s that God never asked us to specifically worship on the Sabbath. Instead the call to worship comes from our fellow men (and women), calling us to worship and praise God. He also talks about how the day is a day of holy convocation, that we get together on that day to encourage each other, to lift each other up. If you get the chance to listen to the series I highly recommend it.
So as you go about your Sabbath, ask yourself – is what I am doing today because of how God intended the Sabbath to be or just because of tradition. If you can’t answer that then maybe it’s time to dig into the Word and see what God really said.