I’m so giddy with excitement! Since I posted on Tuesday, I have been FLOODED with emails and comments on the idea of practicing and celebrating the Sabbath! CLEARLY, God is working in and among us to revive our thoughts about this sacred tradition AND Commandment! I LOVE everything this is stirring up in us – keep the commentary going! It’s through discussion and practice that we will grow in this area!
As promised, I am VERY excited to share with you some great ideas on how to begin to incorporate this blessing, this COMMANDMENT, into your lives! Pour yourself something yummy to drink, settle in, and read on!
In 2009, a group of Jewish artists who call themselves “Unplugged” wrote and initiated a “manifesto” for reconnecting with the concept of the Sabbath. Of everything I’ve read so far on practical advice and applicable ideas on celebrating the Sabbath, their ideas are the ones that inspire me the most and the ones I tried out recently on my Florida trip (see my previous post)! Take a look at this – their 10 ideas coupled with my explanation of them in parentheses:
10 Principles to Celebrating the Sabbath
1. Avoid Technology – UNPLUG! Whatever it may be (email, mp3 players, computer surfing/shopping, Facebook, blogging. Let your mind have a break from the bombardment of audio and visual stimulation.)
2. Connect with loved ones. (Listen. Seek them out. Make them a priority over everything else. Have a meal. Do a puzzle together. Read out loud from a great book and share your thoughts. Go to church together. Talk about life. Laugh.)
3. Nurture your health. (Rest. Hydrate. Eat healthy. Stretch. Build a snowman!)
4. Get outside. (Swim. Go for a walk. Play with your dogs. Ride your bike. Enjoy nature. The idea is basically a CHANGE OF scenery from your daily life – break the cycle and never ending circle of daily drudgery.)
5. Avoid commerce. (Stop working and/or encouraging others who do. If God can take a break from creating something, so can we.)
6. Light Candles. (Keep and remember. Shabbat Shalom. See previous post for explanation!)
7. Drink wine! (I sort of love this one! But it’s not just about the wine! Celebrate life. Celebrate each other. Celebrate creation.)
8. Eat bread! (Eating a meal together is the best way to celebrate the abundance of life, don’t you think?)
9. Find silence. (To find and hear God, we need a little respite from the noise of the world. Chill out, seek Him, and He will find you.)
10. Give back. (Comes from “invited guests” from Genesis 18:8, when Abraham invited strangers to eat with him at his home and they ended up being angels on a mission from God. You never know what you will GET back from GIVING to others.)
(adapted from http://www.sabbathmanifesto.com)
So here is the SUPER cool part! Unplugged has tagged THIS VERY weekend as Take Back the Sabbath, Unplugged 2013. Anyone taking their challenge will be going “unplugged” from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday to take back the Sabbath. I say, WE take back Sunday – or WHATEVER day you can pick to celebrate as YOUR Sabbath this weekend!
So I know you’re probably thinking to yourself, that’s a lot to implement all at once! YES! It is! My thinking is that you simply make an intent to try ONE of these things that you normally wouldn’t think of doing! See what happens. See what effects it has on those around you. I pray that you, as I did, find peace as it was meant to be. That you, once a week, begin to practice eternity. And that you fall in love with Him more and more in the process! AMEN!!!
Now, for those of you following along with our fantastic Good Bible Study Girl curriculum, here is your “to do list” for the week:
• Complete days 4-6 in the Participant Guide for Session Two;
• Comment/email for a chance to win the prize for this week: a cool, silver metal notepad with an engraved cross;
• BTW – Last session’s prize winner of the Willow Tree Angel is…..LORI GAPINSKI!
• Listen to “Grace and Peace” by Fernando Ortega; AND
• Re-write or memorize our verse for this week (Let the peace that Christ gives control your thinking. It is for peace that you were chosen to be together in one body. And always be thankful. Col. 3:15, ERV)
May God bless and keep each of you until we “meet” again next week. Let me know how YOUR Sabbath goes! Also, be sure to check out The History Channel’s new mini-series, “The Bible”, starting this Sunday! I’ve heard amazing things about it!
Up next week: The Three Amigos (the Fiery Power of the Friendship of Meshach, Shadrach, and Abednego)!