Have you ever felt your life is rushed, rushed, rushed? Have you ever wished you had a day to just relax, think about your relationship with your Savior and spend time with your family? The Lord actually has given us such a day - the Sabbath.
One of the original Ten Commandments, the Lord gave specific instruction on how to keep this day holy. "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea,, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it." (Exodus 20:8-11)
Our modern world has wandered far from the keeping of this commandment. For most people it is like any other day, filled with the cares of the world. Yet, Sabbath is defined as, "A day of rest and religious observance; a day of rest or prayer." (Random House Webster's College Dictionary) Many professors take a sabbatical year - one in which they take a break from their customary work. Thus the Sabbath for you needs to be a day to take a break from your customary work.
Implementing a change in how you keep the Sabbath may be difficult at first, but follow these tips to help you make this change for you and your family. Doing so will help bring a renewal to your spirits and to your lives helping you be better prepared to face the week ahead.
Make it a family decision
Sit down as a family and discuss what the Lord intended for this day to be. After helping your family understand this commandment, you can then go on to plan how your family will keep it holy.
Make it a day of religious observance
For Christians, the Sabbath observance is on Sunday in commemoration of the resurrection of Christ. In Christ's lifetime He attended synagogue on the Sabbath: "And when the Sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue." (Mark 6:2) Plan to attend religious services as a family.
Make it a day of rest
Set aside your usual family activities, work, shopping and other concerns of everyday life. The Sabbath provides a wonderful opportunity to rest your bodies and refresh your spirits. Wayne Muller wrote, "Like a path through the forest, Sabbath creates a marker for ourselves so, if we are lost, we can find our way back to our center." (Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight in Our Busy Lives) For the Sabbath to be a marker you need to make it a day different from the other days of the week.
Make it a day of family
Our family has often made Sunday afternoon a time we spend together as a family playing games, watching movies, etc. We also have had extended family gather together with us on Sunday for a meal and visiting.
Make it a day of service
The Savior once asked, "Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath days?" (Mark 3:4) He then proceeded to heal a man. Ways to serve on the Sabbath include visiting the sick and elderly or taking a meal to someone in need.
As you plan to keep the Sabbath day remember these words of the Savior, "The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath." (Mark 2:27) Make it a day where each family member comes closer to our Savior and feels renewed and rejuvenated for the week ahead.