Finding Sabbath Rest

Do your Sunday mornings look like ours used to? Breakfast for hubby and kids in front of cartoons while I finish getting ready because I’ve slept til the very last minute, a hurry scurry to clean everyone up and scramble out the door, barely making it to church on time (if on time.) Whew! By the time we got in the car we were usually all frazzled and irritable. Not a very reverent or worshipful way to start our Sabbath.

Thus, I was intrigued after hearing Senator Joe Lieberman interviewed several times on the topic of Sabbath rest, relating to his book The Gift of Rest. Though the book is thick with his Jewish tradition, he makes effort to make it applicable for all. Having read his insights, I also now better understand the beauty and blessing behind the ritualism of the Jewish Sabbath. I wanted to incorporate some of the principles, so I appreciate that at the end of each chapter, he gives concrete ideas that anyone can apply to their lives, Jewish, Christian, or neither.

There is much that can be gleaned or applied from his look at honoring the Sabbath, but the main changes our family has made relate to having planned a more calm Sunday morning routine.

My Family’s Sabbath Day Changes –

Timing: First of all, we have committed to being dressed and ready to go and sitting down to breakfast 15 minutes before we need to get ready to head out the door.

Location: I love his suggestion to eat in the dining room. It’s a room we used to only use for bigger family gatherings or holidays. Now, it’s our special place for Sabbath meals, especially breakfast.

Blessing and Verses: We begin our breakfast with blessings similar to the Jewish tradition. Tim lays his hands on the children’s shoulders and says, “May you love the Lord with all your heart, soul, and mind and love your neighbor as yourself…especially our family.” (Matthew 22:37, 39)

Then he sits down and we say together Lamentations 3:22-23. “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

This is followed by –
Parents: God is good,
Children: All the time.
Parents: All the time,
Children: God is good.

Then he asks a short blessing for the food.

Aroma: Senator Lieberman shared how many of the scents of traditional foods lend to setting the scene for their Sabbath. We all know how particular scents trigger feelings within us. How special to have a scent associated with our Sabbath. Instead of the scent being associated with a particular food, we decided upon vanilla scented candles in a beautiful votive holder that we will only use on Sabbath.

On the way to church: We either listen to Christian music or more likely, keep it quiet while we talk. One of us also leads us in a prayer in preparation for the morning at church.

These simple changes have made Sunday mornings such a joy! Now when we head to church, we are already in a calm and worshipful attitude.

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.” Exodus 20:8 

Monday 13 May, 2013  |  Copyright ©2013, Kara Durbin read more>>

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