Welcome to the Sabbath!
The Sabbath is a group interactive worship experience. It is not a spectator sport! Everyone is involved from the oldest to the youngest. It is God's ultimate form of family discipleship designed to equip us to enter into His rest and grow together as one. This is a refreshing way of thinking which runs contrary to everything the world pushes us to do, but then again, God calls us "not to be conformed to the world, but transformed by the renewing of your minds". Rom 12:1
To help guide you, we have prepared a brief introduction to the purpose of the Sabbath, the items you need for your Sabbath table, and then also a step by step guide on how to have one. We have also included a video to help you see visually what happens during the Sabbath.
Don't worry about doing everything perfect. The focus is not religion, but relationship. Rule number one is to have fun! Enjoy the Lord and this intimate time of worship he has called your family to. Create a safe place, be yourselves, laugh, smile, and let the Lord minister to you and your family.
The Purpose of the Sabbath
The Sabbath is not like any other time that we come together for worship. It is not a time to perform, it is not a time to get another “to do” list. It is a time to receive God’s grace. It is a time to enjoy being showered with the love of God, draw close to Him in worship and have a special time of togetherness with our loved ones.
The Sabbath operates much like the way the way the heart beats. The heart has two beats, diastolic and systolic. During the first beat, the diastolic, the heart rests and fills with blood. During the systolic beat, the heart contracts and releases the lifeblood from within.
The Sabbath is our time to get full of the life of God. It is a time to receive and be restored as we rest in Him. We are then to release the power of God into our coming work week, just like a heartbeat. This is how we live out of the overflow. God has ordained us to live to the full, but if we do not take time to rest and receive we are living on empty instead of having the abundant life He has planned for us.
The Sabbath is a powerful tool of transformation. In ancient times, the only people who were able to take a day off were the very wealthy or the ruling classes. When we rest, it reminds us that we are God’s royal children, precious in His sight. We are not slaves bound to this world’s system, but we trust in our God who is able to provide for us and deliver us from any challenge that we face.
The Sabbath is a unique form of ministry in that it involves all of the senses. During this time we truly “taste and see that the Lord is good” Psalm 34:8. This time is full of seeing, tasting, touching, smelling and hearing. As our senses are permeated with the fullness of God, it brings us to new levels of experiencing and understanding God’s goodness.
When you take a hot shower and get dressed in your favorite clothes, you feel good about who you are. The Sabbath teaches us how to dress our spirit, soul and body in God’s grace so that we can be confident in our identity as His child. It is a type of kinetic learning that can help us to understand grace in a way that mere words cannot. The Sabbath does not just minister to our spiritual needs, but is designed to minister to our physical and emotional needs as well. The power of the Sabbath is not in the ritual, but is in its ability to help us understand more fully the rest that Christ purchased for us.
There is so much that I can share, but words cannot compete with an experience. May you be blessed richly as you take a step of faith and experience the wonder, beauty and power of the special time God calls the Sabbath.
Jeremiah 6:16 Here is what the Lord says, “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask about the ancient paths. ‘Which one is the good way?’ Take it, and you will find rest for your souls.” CJB
What you need for your Sabbath Table….
(Print this page as a guide so everyone can participate. It is important for each person to have a part. Please read "Our Family Journey into Rest" article if you have not done so yet)
For Friday Night:
- A beautifully set table (as a reminder that you are God's royal children)
- Print a copy of the Sabbath Guide
- 2 taper candles and candle holders
- Creamer pitcher filled with water
- Small bowl to catch the water
- Hand Towel
- Challah Bread from the bakery in the grocery store. Raisin Challah is especially good. That is my kids favorite.
- Basket to hold bread.
- Salt shaker
- Goblet for red wine
- Goblet for grape juice (for children or people who desire a non-alcoholic substitute)
- Ideally shoot for Friday night at sundown, but if Fridays are not good, just pick a consistent day and do it.
- Have each person present lead at least one activity. Encourage each person. God is raising up His future leaders.
1. Opening verse and prayer by head of house –
Leviticus 23:1-3 God said to Moses, “Tell the people of Israel: ‘The designated times of God which you are to proclaim as holy convocations are my designated times. Work is to be done on six days; but the seventh day is a Sabbath of complete rest, a holy convocation; you are not to do any kind of work; it is a Sabbath for God.”
Head of house thanks God for calling us to Sabbath with Him. Open your hearts to enter into God's rest. Watch the relief flow over your family as they rejoice over not having to work! :)
2. Lighting of the Candles by the Woman of the House – Light the Sabbath Candles, wave both hands three times over the candles and say, “Dear Lord God, King of the Universe, we thank you for calling us into a time of Sabbath. It is your appointed time. You have sanctified this time and made it holy. We welcome your Shalom, your peace, your prosperity and most of all your presence into our home.” (Expect the atmosphere to change as you welcome in God's presence and peace. This is the time that you shift gears and enter into His Rest).
Woman then puts her hands over her eyes and prays a secret prayer for her family.
Family Meal – in the summer, we eat our meal before sundown and then do our Sabbath opening. In winter, we open in prayer, light the candles, eat and then do the rest of our Sabbath activities after dinner. Think of your meal in light of Psalm 128.
Psalm 128 - Blessed is every one who fears the Lord, who walks in His ways. When you eat the labor of your hands, You shall be happy, and it shall be well with you. Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine In the very heart of your house, Your children like olive plants all around your table. Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord...Yes, may you see your children's children. Peace be upon God's people.
3. Pray over each family member. Have everyone take turns praying for everyone else, starting with the head of the home praying for others. God has called us to be “kings and priests unto him” Rev 1:6. This is part of your equipping as priests and passing God's blessing onto the next generation!
4. Washing of the Hands –
Psalms 24:3-5 “Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart.
1 John 1:8-9 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Say a prayer regarding confession and living pure before God. Take some time to make things right with God and each other.
5. Challah Bread - The Challah bread reminds us of two things; that God will provide for us as we rest in him and that he has called us to dwell together in unity.
Exodus 16:29 The Lord has given you the Sabbath; therefore He gives you on the sixth day bread for two days.
Say a prayer regarding God’s provision for your family.
6. Salt the Challah Bread
Mark 9:49-50 "For everyone will be seasoned with fire, and every sacrifice will be seasoned with salt. Salt is good, but if the salt loses its flavor, how will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another."
The salt reminds us that we are to be living sacrifices before God and to live at peace with one another. Salt the bread.
Hold up the bread and look at the braids
Read 1 Corinthians 10:17 “For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread. “
The Challah bread has many strands, but when baked come together as one. Take some time to say a prayer of unity over your family. Break the bread and eat of it.
7. Kiddush – blessing of the wine or the grape juice. Wine represents joy. Make sure that the cup is filled to the very brim so that it could overflow. This is a reminder that our joy is to be full!
Read Nehemiah 8:10 The joy of the Lord is our strength.
Pass the cup and drink of it. Pray for and receive the power of joy over your family. Enjoy a wonderful Sabbath!!
8. Enjoy some rest!! Have fun, be lazy and take a “stay-cation”!! "The Jerusalem Talmud states that in the life to come a person must give an account of every good thing he might have enjoyed in this life, but did not. (Kiddushin 4:12). In the rabbi’s view, not to enjoy every legitimate pleasure was in essence to be an ingrate before the Master of the Universe.” (Our Father Abraham, Marvin R Wilson p. 171) Take some time and enjoy your life with your family!