God gives us the holy Sabbath day to rest in His gift of salvation, one we cannot earn but one He freely gives. On the Sabbath, we rest from our daily work and trust Him to provide. We rest from the social pressures around us that demand our time and energy, and we rest from laboring to create our own identity through what we do six days a week. On the Sabbath, He gives us the opportunity to remember our position as His child.
Holy days are days set apart to remember our God and rest without work, and while it may sound pious and somber, our English word holiday comes from holy day. We look forward to holidays and have special traditions that make them different from other days. We plan and prepare with anticipation for our holidays, and we can do the same for our holiday each week — the Sabbath.
One way we prepare our hearts for the Sabbath is through thanksgiving. The act of thanking God for the little and big, the easy and hard things of life allows us to acknowledge that all good things come from our Father. Through thanksgiving, we accept His gifts and worship Him for His goodness. In the discipline of slowing down each day to count even just a few things for which we are thankful, we see God’s work around us in new ways.
This practice can happen through private journaling or by involving family members or roommates. One idea is to set out a stack of Post-it-Notes and markers. Encourage each member of household to write — or draw — one thing of thanks on each note, and then designate a wall on which the collection can be displayed to celebrate how God is at work. Finding ways to be thankful as we prepare for sabbath rest helps unlock our joy as we remember that our God is trustworthy and He loves us.
How will you prepare your heart for your sabbath holiday this week?
— Jamie Harms