Updated: Sep 26
Isn’t it easy sometimes, especially in lockdown, to start going with the repetitive flow of each day and each Sabbath? Don’t be a dead fish; only they go with the flow!
Sabbath is supposed to be the best day of the week, something you look forward to!
From my own experience having, grown up in church, I have come to understand that there are times I have gone through the motions of Sabbath and missed the blessing! I focused on the what instead of taking time to appreciate the why. (Check out part one for more information on the 'why' of Sabbath.)
Lockdown hasn't been easy for most of us, especially when we are so used to spending Sabbath’s at church with other people. It's so easy to become complacent and to treat Sabbath as if it were any other day, but in doing so we miss the greatest blessing.
Here are my top 5 tips on ways to make sure you are keeping the Sabbath!
Nomsa's Top Tips on Keeping the Sabbath
1) Spend time with Jesus
This is such a simple one, but yet very profound, and the most important. It’s easy to get caught up in the rush of Sabbath.
From my past experience a Sabbath would often be like this. I would wake up in the morning, quickly rush to get dressed and look my best. That was followed by a speed walk to the bus stop because I didn't want to be late. Sometimes I would teach in Sabbath school, which is usually an interactive Bible study with a group of people. I would then usually lead in the worship songs and have a role in the main service. All the while trying to make sureI was doing everything right.
It didn't even stop there. Next up was lunch time but instead of a lovely chilled sit down meal, i'd often still be rushing again so I didn't miss out on afternoon service! During the afternoon service I would then be thinking about something else I could do with the youth in the evening. Phhewww! It's safe to say I would often end Sabbath's feeling completely exhausted. So much so, I was often plagued by what I ended up calling my “Sabbath headache”.
There was and is nothing wrong with any of these activities. What was wrong about my situation, is that I often lost track of God. I was so busy rushing so I could be on time, and execute my responsibilities, I wasn't focused on God. My devotions would be rushed in the morning because I didn’t want to be late to church. I wouldn’t be able to concentrate fully on the spiritual food I was getting because I was too pre-occupied with ensuring we had physical food.
The words Jesus said to Martha seemed as though they were meant for me.
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” - Luke 10:41-42
Always prioritise what’s most important, and that’s your time with God. If that means having to wake up an hour or two earlier, do it! If it means delegating responsibility, do it! If it means staying behind in church to reflect even though all your friends are outside socialising, do it! Whatever it is, make sure you do it. Let’s remember to sit at the feet of Jesus, like Mary instead of worrying about things that really don't matter like Martha.
Spend time with your church family. There is so much we can learn from each other. We are on this spiritual journey together and we can be such an encouragement to one another through our ups and downs. Share your testimonies and share how God has been working in your life.
“not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” - Hebrews 10:25
Honestly, this has been the hardest one to execute this year but where there's a will, there's a way! Online church, no, it‘s not the same but its definitely better than nothing. Find a group of people to study with, a church service to tune into - NEC Youth have great programmes each week.
If zoom isn't your thing, meet up with a handful of people in an open space, the park, the beach perhaps. Sing, pray, study and worship together. Whatever you do, don't spend every Sabbath alone. It is definitely possible to have a wonderful time alone with God on Sabbath’s but there is also something beautiful about spending that time with God and others.
3) Do good deeds
Visit someone who can't make it to church
Give a friend a call
Invite someone to your home for a meal
Visit a care home
Give to the poor and needy
Visit those in prison.
The list goes on...
Jesus says, it is good to do good on the Sabbath (Matthew
12:12) and He reminds us that what we have done to the least of these we have done to Him (Matthew 25:40).
Sabbath is not only about us getting rest but also being the hands and feet of Jesus by blessing others with rest as well.
The Pharisees missed this point completely. Sabbath became a selfish thing. They neglected those who needed love and support on the Sabbath. When Jesus was here on earth, He showed us that rest also includes service and in serving others you'll be blessed too.
Take some quiet time and step away from the crowd. Reflect on your week think of how God has led you through it. Think about what you will take into your new week and what you will leave behind. Thank God for the week just gone and trust Him with the week to come.
“Be still, and know that I am God…..” - Psalms 46:10
5) Spend time in Nature
This has been a favourite of mine especially during lockdown. Stepping out in nature, hearing the birds sing, watching the sun set and rise again. Smelling the flowers, chasing butterflies, gazing at the rolling hills. Even just hearing the gush of the river flow by and having the cool breeze blowing on my face.
All nature testifies of God! If you are able spend, some time in nature. The outdoors truly are magnificent!
Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it. Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy. - Psalm 96:11-12
Whatever you decide to do on Sabbath, I pray that God will forever be at the centre of it all.
I hope you've enjoyed our three part Sabbath series! I pray you've learnt more about what this date with God really means and how you can spend that quality time with Him each week.
If you'd like to know more about Sabbath or if you have any questions, please feel free to send us a message or drop a comment below!
About The Author
Hi there, I’m Nomsa. I’m 24 years old and currently living in Surrey and working in locally in the financial sector. These past few years for me have been focused on trying to figure out my life’s direction, growing spiritually and emotionally and so much more. In these crazy years I have personally experienced and valued the joy that is Sabbath.
So I was super excited when Laura asked me to write a little something for the Stay Lit Apparel blog. I hope that you will be blessed by what I have to share on the blessing of
Sabbath through the eyes of my own experiences. If you would like to reach out to me, please feel free to send me an email on email@example.com.
Stay blessed and Stay Lit!