Every morning we get up and get ready for work. For some of us, we get ready for school. We prepare a gathering, we prep to host a party, we get "done" for special moments.
The Sabbath Day deserves just as much preparation if not more than all the other things we get ready for. It is highly recommended that we "prepare" our hearts, minds, and bodies for the day of rest and celebration with the congregation.
The Jews would prepare meals in advance, clean their homes, have their clothes ready, you get the point. Basically, the rule is, that you shouldn't be doing any "work" on the day of the Sabbath. But more importantly, the Sabbath is not about the absence of "work" but being completely available to God without any distractions. The Sabbath is about being present to what's important, to who's important in your life.
"Sanctifying the Sabbath is part of our imitation of God, but it also becomes a way to find God’s presence. It is not in space but in time, he writes, that we find God’s likeness. In the Bible, no thing or place is holy by itself; not even the Promised Land is called holy. While the holiness of the land and of festivals depends on the actions of the Jewish people, who have to sanctify them, the holiness of the Sabbath, he writes, preceded the holiness of Israel. Even if people fail to observe the Sabbath, it remains holy." - Abraham Heschel, The Sabbath
I've started this new tab on my blog in hopes that we may prepare for the Sabbath together. Some of us get ready on Sunday mornings, spending time with God in quietness, having rich fellowship with church friends over brunch, arriving early to help set up at church... others, do not have the luxury to prepare on Sunday morning. Due to parental duties or for some of us, closing shop on Sunday morning, we need Saturdays to prepare for the Sundays. In any case, I'll try to post images, videos, quotes, and of course Scripture to assist you in your prep for the Sabbath.
Let's prepare in advance so that God can have our full attention on the Sabbath Day.
(Watch, pray, and prepare with video and prayers below)
I pray that this will edify and assist your preparation time before the Lord.
Let's start with this short film, I hope this video guides you into a time of prayer for the Sabbath.
On this Sabbath, let us worship and thank the God who loved us, spent time with us, and cared for us even while we were yet "sinners". As we meditate with this film, may our hearts open to the things that break God's heart and may we become more and more available to those who are lonely around us.
My favorite line from this film is when this grandma still thanks God for her life saying, "God is good to me". Even in her loneliness she finds a way to thank God.
Oh Lord, on this Sabbath Day
may I become more aware of your presence
and what it took for you to reconcile me to you
Oh Lord, on this Sabbath Day,
may I become more aware of Other's loneliness
Grant me true rest today in your presence
so that I may have the strength to give of myself to others
and that I may discover the joy in being present to those you've placed in my life
Father, give me the courage to reach out,
to step out, and embrace the lonely
Thank you for always being present and available
I remember your faithfulness today as I rest in you
See you at church,
Side Note: This video brings to surface what's been on my heart for awhile now... I've been praying about the elderly. My prayer is that someday we will be a people who will make the time for those whom society has deemed "useless".