Discipleship,  Faith,  Life,  Rest in God,  Slow Living

Celebrating The Sabbath As Christians

Ok, so today we’re looking at the importance of the Sabbath for us as Christians.

In this post, I’m sharing why we should celebrate the Sabbath as Christians, how celebrating the Sabbath transforms our faith, and how to celebrate the Sabbath (with plenty of suggestions and ideas to get you started).

Why celebrate the Sabbath as Christians?

The first question is why. Isn’t observing the Sabbath an Old-Testament command for the Israelites? As Christians, aren’t we set free from the law?

Ok, so first things first – yes, observing the Sabbath was a command God gave the people of Israel (Exodus 20:8-11, Deuteronomy 5:12-14, Isaiah 58:13-14). And yes, in Jesus, we are set free from the law.

And so, we don’t need to observe the Sabbath in order to have relationship with God. Jesus is our righteousness.


Just like all the ten commandments, observing the Sabbath is about living in a way that glorifies God and brings blessing to others. Celebrating the Sabbath is about us living as children of God, and rejecting the idols of workaholism, money, and productivity.

In other words, observing a Sabbath rest is not a restriction, but a wonderful opportunity to spend more focused time with God, become more like Jesus, and live in communion with one another.

Another reason the Sabbath is important for us as Christians is that the Sabbath did not begin with the people of Israel, rather it started right at the foundation of the world, when God Himself rested on the seventh day.

God did not need to rest. He chose to! Why? To set an example for us.

And so, when we choose to stop our work, and we choose to rest, we are choosing to emulate God Himself.

How celebrating the Sabbath transforms our faith

I’ve been celebrating a Sabbath rest with my family for over a year, and I can tell you without exaggeration that this practice has transformed my relationship with God.

I have learnt to trust more in God, and less in my productivity goals. I have also learnt that God is in control of my work, not me. Yes, I already knew this in theory. But actually having a day of rest and not being switched on to my paid work, my author stuff, my email, my housework, has helped me to know that God is in control.

When we choose to stop our work, this is one of the wonderful things we learn. God is in control. He is sovereign. The world will still function when we rest!

Something else that I’ve also noticed is that since celebrating the Sabbath, I’ve become more able to take life slowly and intentionally. Before, I used to rush to get as many things done as possible. Now, I’m actively enjoying my work and not worrying when I don’t get as many things done in a day. I guess this is because I’ve learnt to trust God more.

Taking a Sabbath rest then is about learning to trust God more, living more slowly and intentionally, and becoming less rushed.

How can we celebrate a Sabbath day as Christians?

Ok, so how can we actually put the Sabbath rest into practice? Let’s look at some key components

1. Set a time

The first thing is to set a specific day or period to rest. This could be a Saturday or a Sunday, or it could be an afternoon one day and a morning the next day, if that works best for you.

The key is to look at your timetable and find a good time to rest. Sometimes, you will need to make the time by removing some commitments from your schedule, and that’s ok! Remember, rest is both a command and a delight. 🙂

2. People

Who will you rest with?

If you’re a mom with a husband and children, you may enjoy taking the Sabbath as a day to rest as a family. Or you may also want to schedule fun stuff with friends or your local church family. (Just make sure there are no great time constraints that can lead to hurry and stress!)

If you’re a single mom, perhaps the Sabbath rest will involve getting together with other moms or your community group. Or perhaps you’ll enjoy having a Sabbath rest with just your children. Or perhaps you’ll choose to do different things on different days!

Pray about it and let the Holy Spirit lead you.

3. Prepare

A day of rest doesn’t just happen. We need to prepare for it the day before. This means:

  • planing and pre-preparing our meals
  • completing any urgent errands
  • sorting out life admin and email (especially because Sabbaths are best enjoyed when we’re disconnected from virtual communication and social media)
  • cleaning and organising the house (while your house doesn’t have to be spotless, it’s a good idea to have it semi-clean and organised so that you enjoy the day better)

4. Sabbath activities

This is a day to focus on God and others, so make sure the Sabbath isn’t a day off to watch Netflix, rather it’s a day to engage in life-giving activities.

These could be activities that you don’t get much of an opportunity to do during the work week, and these could also be fun family activities, such as outings and games.

Also, make sure you schedule some time to read Scripture and pray together as a family/community in a very simple and relaxed way. (Especially so, if your Sabbath rest day is not a local church gathering day!)

Ok, so now let’s look at a quick list of ideas to help get you started on celebrating the Sabbath in a God-honouring way:

  • Eat together – make sure that you make space for communing with others around the table. You can even have special dishes you only have on Sabbaths (such as desserts or starters!);
  • Pray and read Scripture;
  • Listen and sing to worship music;
  • Watch a good-quality familyfriendly film;
  • Read – fiction, poetry, children’s stories, Christian non-fiction books;
  • Go out into nature – choose somewhere close by if you don’t want to drive, or go further afield if you don’t have much nature around where you live;
  • Do exercise (keep your body moving so you don’t get lethargic!);
  • Play board games as a family;
  • Play pretend with your kids;
  • Do family shows – get your children to do a performance;
  • Take a nap;
  • Explore a new city;
  • Go to a coffee shop for brunch;
  • Go for a walk and a picnic;
  • Go out for ice-cream;
  • Paint;
  • Embroider;
  • Colour;
  • Bake a cake (if you find this relaxing!)
  • Play a musical instrument
  • Do a puzzle

And so on…

Again, pray that God would show you activities that bring you closer to God and help you to rest!

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