Today, I come with ideas for your Sabbath celebration of life (or the 24-hour period you will take it this week).
The following are some ideas for your Sabbath today from deep historical thinkers and practitioners on the topic (Abraham Joshua Heschel, Marva Dawn, Wayne Muller, Ruth Haley Barton, and many others), to enhance it and make it more what it was designed to be—transformative—in your life.
First, a few principles to contextualize the ideas I suggest:
The practice of Sabbath is a weekly invitation to more, not less. It is an invitation to more of the essential, more of the eternal, more of the glory threading through it all.
Sabbath is a day of feasting, and is considered a feast—on faith, on hope, on joy—to enter into the sacred creational delights for which we were designed. The only acts we are to cease from are those which perpetuate our self-sufficiency, self-dependence, self-absorption, and self-deification.
In honoring a weekly Sabbath, we restore our awareness of what must be true in our lives in order for joy to abound. In a constant mode of acquisition and achievement, creation and compensation, we dull our sense of time—its passing, its sanctity, its gifts.
The Sabbath is the ritual culmination of each week in celebration of God’s Love, enduring purposes, and sovereignty over our time. It is a day to feast in recognition of eternity-in-time (Heschel), and to celebrate the New Creation Christ brings and is bringing.
Today (if today can be a Sabbath), here are 12 ideas for a richer 7th day experience…
- Join with your faith community in worship and fellowship (koinonia)
- Enjoy food you would not enjoy on any other day of the week
- Sleep in; take a nap
- Take a walk through a beautiful place (nature, or another place)
- Walk slowly and gratefully around the perimeter of your home/yard, and thank God for all that happens within it
- Call family or friends you haven’t spoken to in awhile, simply to encourage them
- Rest your mind—power down your devices
- Rest your body—walk slowly, take your time, be deliberate about the little things
- Light a candle to mark the 8, 12, or 24 hour period
- Speak only positive truths (let negativity and fear have the day off)
- Do easy things, rather than hard things
- Laugh (you’ll have to figure this one out!)
As well, consider filling your home with beautiful, peaceful music that is either worship oriented or instrumental. Quiet your spirit and soak in eternal truths.
I hope these ideas help you in your Sabbath journey, and you can apply some of theme in your 24-hour Sabbath this week.
With spiritual friendship, your brother,
Sheltering Mercy: Prayers Inspired by the Psalms (Brazos Press) helps us rediscover the rich treasures of the Psalms—through free-verse prayer renderings of their poems and hymns—as a guide to personal devotion and meditation. This artful, poetic, and classic devotional book features compelling custom illustrations and beautiful hardcover binding, offering a fresh way to reflect on and pray the Psalms.
The church has always used the Psalms as part of its prayer life, and they have inspired countless other prayers. This book contains 75 prayers drawn from Psalms 1-75, providing lyrical sketches of what authors Ryan Smith and Dan Wilt have seen, heard, and felt while sojourning in the Psalms.
While each prayer corresponds to a particular psalm and touches on its themes and ideas, it is not a new translation of the Psalms or an attempt to modernize or contextualize their content or language. Rather, the prayers are responses to the Psalms written in harmony with Scripture. These prayers help us quiet our hearts before God and welcome us into a safe place amid the storms of life.
This artful, poetic, and classic devotional book features compelling custom illustrations and beautiful hardcover binding, offering a fresh way to reflect on and pray the Psalms.
Sheltering Mercy website: PrayWithThePsalms.com
Sheltering Mercy on Amazon:
Header Photo Credit: Photo by Jessica Delp on Unsplash