What a lot of readers may not know is that my husband and I are Seventh Day Adventists. When people find out that we’re members of the SDA church one of the first questions they ask is, “What’s different about your church?” A lot of people think it’s some kind of cult. It’s not.
The difference between us and other Christian churches is that we go to church on Saturday; we’re Sabbath keepers. The SDA is a Christian church – we believe in what’s in the Bible. Jesus tells us that if we love him, to keep his commandments. We love Jesus, so we keep his commandments. All ten of them. The fourth commandment (the longest commandment, the one that starts with “Remember”, because God knew that someday we would forget) says to keep the Sabbath day holy.
Jesus kept the Sabbath. The apostles kept the Sabbath. The early church for several hundreds of years after Jesus went to the cross kept the Sabbath. Nowhere in scripture does it say that the Sabbath was changed. That was done by man, not by God.
So, what is the Sabbath? It’s a day of REST. What could possibly be wrong with that? It’s a time to set aside the worries and cares and stresses of the crazy world we live in, spend time with the Lord and recharge our batteries. In a nutshell, that’s what it is. A lot of people get very upset with me when I explain why we keep the Sabbath and I don’t get that. They don’t get upset when I explain why I don’t commit adultery, murder or steal. But it’s fine. I practice what I believe, I walk the walk to the best of my ability. I wasn’t always a Christian. That came to me later in life than many. There was a time (a LONG time) in my life where I was about as far away from the light of God as a person could be. I lied. I cheated. I stole things. I had affairs with married men. I was a prostitute. I was a drug dealer. I had an abortion. Now that I’ve gotten to know the word of God and the LOVE of God… it’s a whole different world for me. I look at everything with different eyes and my life has never been better. I have peace. And I have rest.
Sabbath starts at sundown on Friday and ends at sundown on Saturday. Friday evening my husband and I welcome in the Sabbath – we get rid of worldly distractions. We bundle up all our cares and worries and hand them over to God, trusting him completely to handle all of it for the next day. We sleep more peacefully on Friday night than we do any other night of the week. Saturday morning we get up early, relax a little together, then head for church. We have Sabbath School first, and once or twice a month I get to teach the lesson. Then the main service follows. Once a month we have a potluck lunch afterwards for a little more fellowship time with our church family.
When we leave church we don’t go back to “business as usual” for the rest of the day. Church service might be over but it’s still Sabbath until sundown. So we don’t work on Saturdays. We spend time with family or friends, we visit with people, have Bible studies, help neighbors, that sort of thing. Okay, to be perfectly honest, a lot of the time we come home and we take a nap. We both work very hard during the week and we’re exhausted. The Sabbath is a day of rest and for a few hours in the afternoon we take that really literally. We don’t shop or do business. We focus more on the things that God would want us to do, not on the things that our flesh wants to do.
Why rest? It’s a crazy world! We’re so busy, all day, every day, so distracted and immersed in nonsense, bombarded by everything… we need to rest or we burn out and God, who designed us, knows this. Who is it that wants us crazy busy, exhausted and unable to focus? Satan does. I can’t believe how much better I function all week long when I’ve had a day of rest. I wish I’d known this twenty years ago. 🙂