I recently got into a discussion on my instagram page when a fellow Sabbath-keeper objected to a poem I wrote about Sabbath. Amidst the spiritual high of the Christmas season, I compared the recent holiday to Sabbath:

Sabbath is a Christmas you get every single week. It’s a present you get and give away, but still you get to keep. It’s the sunset and the sunrise. It’s the promise of something new. It’s the peace you need, love you deserve. It’s the freedom to be you.

So what is the Sabbath, and what right do I have to comment on it at all?

Jesus said “the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27, ESV).

The Sabbath is a weekly holiday–literally a day made Holy by God–in commemoration of God’s creation.

Genesis 2 says: “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation” (v. 1-3, ESV). 

Exodus 20 says: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy” (v. 8-11, ESV). 

For too long I believed the blessing of the Sabbath was only an option if I followed the rules. I believed this gift was only available to people who attended church on the Sabbath.

As a young girl growing up in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, I kept the Sabbath like a secret.

It wasn’t a gift to share or even good news to share. The Sabbath was something I knew, and I was better for it. It was filled with rules I kept, and I was obedient and good for keeping them.

Really, as a young Sabbath-keeper in public school, I felt like a martyr turning down party invitations and staying home from basketball games because it was Sabbath.

Now I understand the Sabbath is for everyone.

This weekly respite is a gift, and it has much more value than how much obedience I bring to it.

In fact, the Sabbath can and should be enjoyed by everyone–whether they’re religious or not, whether they’re Seventh-day Adventist or not, whether they work a full-time job or not.

The Sabbath can and should be a day of peace and rest for all people. It’s a day to connect with God no matter what name you might use to worship Him.

I do not think God’s gift of the Sabbath can be diminished by our own human naivety or ignorance.

Sabbath rest can revive relationships, prevent professional and emotional burnout, recover an overworked body and mind, and even add years to our life.

You read that right. Many medical professionals believe observing this day of rest every week, will mean a longer life. Some even believe the days we’ve rested throughout our life are added to the end of our life.

I’m not making this claim, and I’m not a medical professional. However, I have done my share of research, and there is a reason the ‘world’ is catching on to the Sabbath.

It is my hope I can bring some Sabbath peace to even the non-religious through my new podcast #SabbathSlowdown. Check it out and subscribe if you’re interested in facts, lessons, tips, and even recipes to put our mind toward Sabbath.