“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” Exodus 20:8 NKJV
Sabbath. It was the fifth in a list of 10 rules carved into a rock by the hand of God. The command was to “remember it,” and until recently, what many translated that to mean was, “go to church on Sunday.” There wasn’t a sustaining from any other weekly activities, and there wasn’t a focus on anything soul-nurturing beyond the one-hour service guaranteed to make you feel good and send you on your way.
But lately this Old Testament word has been making a come-back. And not just because “self-care” seems to be the hip thing, but because the heart of command has been dusted off by scholars, teachers, and writers who have wooed us with their crafty words back to a place of remembrance.
We now know that Sabbath is as much as what we abstain from (work) as what we run towards (rest and relationships). It’s more than “not going into the office,” in our culture where we plug in and log on and continue with our workdays long after we punch out. It’s less about where we go on Sunday morning and more about the rhythm and rest of the day. It’s as much about what you’re not doing as it is what you are doing.
Before you read any further, know this— Sabbath is an intentional practice, and without preparing for it, you won’t be successful. It probably requires that you start thinking about it the day before. Do what you can to prepare in advance so that you spend your Sabbath day in a slower-paced rhythm. If you’re ready for some simple ideas on how to practice, we’ve compiled ten for you:
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