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Sabbath Afternoon: Sabbath – A Day of Freedom — 11 Comments

  1. When Seventh-day Adventists learned about the Sabbath from Rachel Preston, they were not very creative in their thinking. They essentially transferred the church service and Sunday School from Sunday to Saturday and started and ended the day of rest from sunset to sunset. Since then we have spent the next 150 years defending that decision verse by verse. I sometimes wonder if somewhere along the way we lost the purpose of the Sabbath.

    If all we have done is transfer liturgy from Sunday back to Sabbath perhaps we are missing something about the true intention of the Sabbath. The lesson this week gives us an opportunity to reflect on Sabbath-keeping in the context of "the least of these". A Sabbath shared should be a blessing to others, otherwise, we may be missing the true Sabbath blessing for ourselves.

    And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath. Mark 2:27,28

    What was the context of Jesus' statement?

    • I sometimes thought the same and I thought to myself if I am wrong in the way I observe the Sabbath. I believe that there is something we as Seventh Day Adventists keep the Sabbath "casually" "as long as they attend service" as I often observe some. My attitude is to be true to the command "if ye love me keep my commandments." Private deep study of the scripture in its entirety and then deeply relate myself with the natural environment - man, beast and plants, the sea and its contents there of, the heavens and I marvel at all of nature. God's Word and nature complement each other.

  2. That he might have the seventh part of his whole time to devote to the purposes of bodily rest and spiritual exercises. And in these respects it is of infinite use to mankind. Where no Sabbath is observed, there disease, poverty, and profligacy, generally prevail. Had we no Sabbath, we should soon have no religion.
    It is where the nations are heading now in our world.

  3. Observing the Sabbath was to attend church and afternoon services and this became a burden to me because as young people we were bared from doing anything other than this and this distorted my understanding of the true meaning of Sabbath observance. Can someone please explain to me how do you observe the Sabbath correctly.

    • The observance of the holy Sabbath begins with fulfilling active work and Labour during the week. The Sabbath is meant for spiritual, emotional and physical well being of man. Sabbath set us free from work, loneliness, stress, etc. It allows for having a free relationship with our Creator and Liberator.It also teaches us to trust God and to practice equality among ourselves

      • The Israelites did not go out and socialize with each other on The Sabbath as they traveled from Egypt to the promise land.
        But as time pass by, in Jesus’ day, they met in different places and interacted with each other.

    • I do not believe someone can tell you exactly how to "correctly" observe the Sabbath. That is between you and God. However, for myself I enjoy going to Bible study and fellowshiping with friends, going on nature walks, going to church, staying home some days just to delve into His Word, and resting. I do not believe God gave us the Sabbath to be stressed, and to wonder if we are "doing it right". But I believe He gave us the Sabbath to unwind, to put other things aside and get to truly focus on Him and on ourselves. How do we view God, how do we view religion, spirtuality, Sabbath, what are we doing that is not aligned with God...? I believe this is a time of true reflection, joy, and relaxation.

  4. What I noticed is if Jesus had kept the Sabbath as the Pharisees did he would have been loved. He instead was out of the Synagogue healing people and good for them. A part of our Sabbaths should be used as Jesus used the Sabbaths.

  5. The Sabbath began in Eden. Adam had not been laboring all week long and was “in need” of rest. Christ wanted to have a special time with him. I’m not sure about those Sabbaths, but don’t think it was one glorious service followed by afternoon meetings, etc. Our creative God enjoyed the fellowship. It was not a day of “don’ts”.

    Fast forward to a people coming out of oppression to get a context for the commandments. They understood rules and consequences. They didn’t understand that the one in Power wanted to spend time them. It was inconceivable for them to think that the most powerful figure they ever knew, Pharaoh, would want to spend time with them. God was showing them their value to him and how they should share that special love with “the least of these”.

    Much is what we do or don’t do on Sabbath reflects generations of traditions just like the Jews and the Talmud, the Puritans, and others.

    Yes it says don’t labor in an agrarian society. It doesn’t mean the same in our times. Was I not to see patients on Sabbath? Were the nurses to cease working if they were Adventists? Were we to employ “gentiles” to do our work? Was the farmer not to milk her cows or the power company worker not to repair and restore power on Sabbath.

    I prefer to try to approach the Sabbath from the ideal of time with God. Who knows maybe the kicked a soccer ball as they walked and talked as friends. Perhaps they enjoyed sitting in the spray of a waterfall as they talked. I’m sure they talked about the diversity of life and why did God enjoy such diversity.

    Sabbath was made for man to communicate in a special way with our God. It involves community and care for each other. It should not be a burden so that our kids keep asking is Sabbath over. Keeping that type of forced obedience is likely not any pleasure for God either.

    Think of how be creative and involve others in building community and helping the less fortunate. Make it enjoyable and profitable for all as we realize we are doing these things to bring God unto our life; not to live sequestered and hemmed in by onerous rules passed done from our forefathers.

  6. Sabbath is our tithe to God only after we work 6 days, labor and earn for living not depending on other for survival. Just as we bring the tithe if we honestly work and God blesses it, if we honor the Sabbath one day of a week, He will bless us. Sabbath also tells 6 days of earning all the money will not bring us happiness if we don't have 7th day sacredness enter into our head. Sabbath also tells salvation does not come on what we do but what He does. No amount of work brings us peace, happiness and harmony if we neglect the blessed Sabbath which is the bed room of our time with God.

  7. Virgil, many like you/us have the dilemma of understanding the true meaning of the Sabbath. Remember, the Pharisees had Jesus around them for sometime but still had the wildest understanding of the true meaning of the Sabbath. As Sasha, has pointed out, it is not easy to get the correct answer to your question from a human perspective unless we are spiritually led to understand and experience God. God Himself reiterates on His word on the Sabbath;

    “If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day,if you call the Sabbath a delight and the Lord’s holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,14 then you will find your joy in the Lord, and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.”Isaiah 58: 13

    The Sabbath provides us with the opportunity to take a rest from our daily routines to reflect on the handy work of creation and have a complete spiritual, physical and emotional rest with God. This is the best time also to practice what Jesus Himself did - as custom;
    "He was teaching in their synagogues, and everyone praised him. He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read.."Luke 4:15-16

    Besides the practice of Jesus visiting the synagogue to teach the Word, He also ministered to the people through the acts of healing and meeting them at their various points of need.

    Learning from the Lord of the Sabbath, apart from congregating in our churches every Sabbath to worship, we have a duty to reach out to people through acts of provision of human needs- especially to the needy, the sickly, the imprisoned and even singing and preaching the Word on the highways and other public places to bring hope to non-believers and depressed souls.


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