Sabbath (part 2)

Sorry for the long wait for my follow up post on Shabbat. Between weddings, homeschooling and sicknesses, I have been otherwise tied up. I wanted to be sure to get this out there before another Sabbath passed though. So here it is!

 

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How?

How do you observe the Sabbath?

The Rabbi’s have added many, many stipulations to God’s word over the years. Although I understand what they are trying to do by interpreting their own rules into the Law, I am not looking to conform to man. Sola Scriptura.

From what I have found in my study of Scripture, everyone who wants to observe the Sabbath should:

1. Not cook or gather (purchase) food (Exodus 16:23-29)

2.Keep the day holy (Exodus 20:8)

3.Do no work (and don’t cause others to either) (Exodus 20:9-10)

4.Don’t make a fire (Exodus 35:3)

5.Remember (Deut. 5:15)

6.Do good (Matt. 12:12)

Beyond that, and including that, I believe that the Lord will convict you about how and what your and your family should do. And as I have said before, It’s a process.

As for our family, here is what we do accordingly:

1.I do not cook and make sure all of our food is purchased and prepared ahead of time. This is where a couple loaves of challah and a slow cooker come in handy.

2. We study the Word. Either personally, as a family, or with a small group of other like-minded believers.

3. We don’t preform the work that we do as our normal occupation. As a homemaker, that means I do not cook, clean, plan or homeschool.

4. No fire? This isn’t a usual thing in our house, so no big deal.

5. We remember by observing a Christian Erev Shabbat ceremony on Friday nights (I will explain more below.)

6. We are still working on this part and would like to start doing some sort of service or outreach as a family on this day.

It is important to keep in mind that Jesus said “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” (Mark 2:27). This is a gift to us. It is a way for us to grow closer to Adonai and walk more like Jesus (who clearly observed the Sabbath all throughout His time here). It is not a legalistic burden. It is a joy!

Our family has really grown and we so look forward to Sabbath Eve (Erev Shabbat) every week. We have taken some traditional rituals and made them our own. Each week is a little different, but these things always stay the same:

1. We light 2 white candles. One symbolizes creation (when Shabbat was instituted) and one symbolizes redemptin (when Christ bought us back).

2. We read the Scriptures that tell us to remember and observe the Sabbath.

3. We have communion. The challah (one three braided one for the trinity and one seven braided one for the creation week) is blessed and used as Christ’s body which was broken for us. The grape juice (and wine) which symbolizes Yeshua’s blood poured out for our sins.

4. We pray. Each of us takes a turn praying for friends, family, neighbors. We give thanks and adoration.

5. We sing a hymn. Each week one of the children picks a song from the hymn book we have and we sing it as a family.

6. We sing and dance to Shalom Aleichem.

7. Saturday is often different but as often as possible we meet up for fellowship with other believers.

8. On Sunday morning when the kids wake up I have cleared away the burnt candles, vase of flowers, challah plate, etc. and placed a bowl of something sweet for them. Jesus’ resurrection is a sweet gift!

There you have it! Nothing fancy. Very personal. Poignant when you think about everything it means. When you realize people all over the world are doing the same thing. Resting in Adonai. Finding peace and strength for the week ahead. Why would we not?

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Sabbath (part 1)

I took a series of polls on facebook today asking people three questions about the Sabbath:

When?

Why?

How?

It’s my intention to share my answers to all three of those questions in two blog posts. This one will cover the when and why. The next post will cover the how.

First the WHY:

As a Christian, I have always observed (and thought any real Christian observed) the Sabbath (or at least MY version of the Sabbath) on Sunday–the first day of the week. “The Lord’s Day.”

Imagine my shock as I began to read the actual text of the Bible and find that this is not true.

I have been lied to.

Deceived.

Led astray.

I have been taught (and very happily practicing) traditions of man. I have been forsaking the teachings of YHWH from His own Word.

Some people (professing Christ followers) may say (and have actually said to my face) “What does it matter? If we go to heaven through faith in Jesus alone, why does it matter?”

Well, I can’t speak for anyone else, but when I get to heaven (on the blood of Yeshua alone), I want my Abba to look at me and proclaim “Well done good and faithful servant.”

I believe that when we really and truly see our Messiah’s sacrificial love and redemption, we will do anything in response to that gift. Even if it means questioning the ways of man.

So here I am.

Questioning the ways of mainstream, western Christianity.

My first area of scrutiny has been the Sabbath because it was one of the very first things that YHVH blessed.

 “So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.” Genesis 2:3

Contrary to popular belief, the Sabbath was not first commanded in “THE LAW” (I write it that way because people use that term very, very loosely without even clarifying what it means). Between the above passage and the passage about not collecting manna on the seventh day (Exodus 16:23-30–also PRE-LAW), I believe it is clear that even if nothing in THE LAW is binding today, the Sabbath is exempt from that because it came about before any of the Mosaic covenant. (Not to mention the many biblical references to the fact that we will be celebrating the Sabbath when we live in the New Jerusalem)

 

So it is my conclusion that the Sabbath is still a valid and current commandment from the Lord God.

Now the WHEN?

And the Sabbath (literally meaning the seventh) is (even on our modern calendars) Saturday. Being that YHWH always counted days as evening to morning, I would carry with the idea that evening Friday through evening Saturday is Sabbath.

Our family has been studying and learning together how to walk in obedience to the Word in this area for about a month now. It has brought us closer to one another and to the Lord. I’m excited to share some ways we have been doing that in my next post!

In closing I want to be sure to re-emphasize what I said in my previous posts (It’s a processThe beginning of the journeyUnwavering beliefs). I am not trying to sway anyone, judge anyone or cause division. I am simply sharing truths that YHVH is opening our eyes to at this time. Partly as a journal to look back at and see where He has brought us and partly for reference for those who may already be searching out these things.

Here are a couple of links I found useful in my study:

The Lord’s Day?

Word search for Sabbath on blueletterbible.org

Sabbath study

Video refuting some common objections

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