Earlier this year, while on our third national stay-at-home order in England, I knew there was a definite call for a gentler way of living. Alongside this realisation, in my own walk with my Creator, my heart began understanding more about the meaning of the Sabbath. I’m still on a journey of discovery, but I feel now is the time to share with you how I’m living it in my home life.
What we do exactly on the Sabbath
My husband and I decided that after every 6 days of work, we would observe one day for delighting in God. Practically, what this means is that on Sabbath day by sunset, the table is set, beeswax candle lit and our feast can begin. It is a moment of rejoicing, relishing, and rejuvenating. This is how we rest on our sabbath. We turn the sabbath into a day of worship, active devotion & meditation, savouring every second. For the next 24h we refrain from working, house chores, being on our devices, or watching Netflix. No phones, no shopping, no errands, no chores, no work or creating.
While this may seem restrictive, the opposite is true. I will admit, in the beginning it was hard – I checked my phone a couple of times. Oops!
But after a few restful Sabbaths I found myself looking forward to that day during my week. Sabbath has enabled my husband and I to have deeper, more meaningful conversations about all kinds of topics. We also went for walks with no other pleasure – not even photography – than feasting our eyes on how perfect nature is. I gained more room in my mind for a fresh burst of creativity. Picture this -ideas would come to me about things I had been pondering on during the week, solutions to some issues became more apparent. The fact is I could go on and on about the benefits, however I’d like to invite you to experience it for yourself if you’re not already doing it.
Perhaps the most important takeaway I found in the Sabbath is knowing that there’s nothing more I should do, can do, need to do. Creation and our life is enough as it is. It’s all good. Can you hear the sigh of relief? I know God is still at work, even when we stop working.
The Opening feast for the sabbath
We bought ourselves a raclette apparatus, to enjoy a different way of eating. As cheese melted, our worries and stress of the week melted away. When we dipped our bread into our homemade soup, warmth perforated through the very crevices of coldness in our bodies and hearts. I know these have made us beautiful memories to cherish for a long time to come. At times, we even made a picnic in our living room with the raclette and sat on the floor feasting!
Some of what we ate (it varied week after week):
Leeks, boiled potatoes, olives, gherkins, mushrooms, carrots, fennel, chard, peppers, courgettes, chives, kale, beetroot juice (our “wine”), onions, broccoli, parsley, celery, and cabbage. Occasionally, we had salmon, chicken, and ground beef. All the vegetables was farm-fresh and seasonal. We also supplemented with soups, like this homemade leek soup.
The cheeses we tried – based on what was locally available (alas, we’re not in Switzerland! 😄): gouda, edam, Gruyère, raclette, cheddar, Parmiggiano Reggiano, and Wyfe of Bath (regional award-winning cheese from Bath, where we were).
Now that it’s springtime, we are going to sell this apparatus to whoever wants to buy it. Our Sabbath will remain, but will look different. Maybe it will be a cheese platter, or a veggie platter, or barbecue… who knows. What matters is setting this time aside and honouring it as a special, holy day.
Religion is a tricky thing isn’t it? It can cause so much division and oppression. Here, I’m not talking about some religious rite, but pleasure. Delighting in that day, delighting in who God created us to be. Isn’t He such a good Father for asking us to observe one day off work? After all, isn’t this the same invitation we extend to our busy friends?
Take the day off.
Enjoy the life we’ve been given.