One important thing Jesus taught humanity about Sabbath is that it’s not about rule-making, but peacemaking.

Instead of thinking only of the dos and don’ts of Sabbath hours, you can set personal goals for yourself and your family that will lead to a more peaceful and calm Sabbath rest.

Some cultures celebrate Sabbath by forcing themselves to rest. Others force themselves to worship. Some do both.

Some cultures observe Sabbath as soon as the blessing is said, and others as soon as the sun sinks below the horizon. Since the invention and accessibility of the cell phone, we all know exactly when the sun sets regardless of the weather or where we live.

We know what day we celebrate Sabbath; we know roughly what time to celebrate it. What we may have difficulty with is finding peace on Sabbath.

More rules will actually steal your peace on Sabbath. More stress over cleaning and preparing will actually steal your calm this Sabbath. Additionally, forcing yourself to fill Sabbath with worship will steal away the joy of worship–especially if you don’t incorporate worship into the rest of your week.

Here are some simple and inexpensive ways to add peace, calm, and joy to your Sabbath this week week.

  1. Get out the comfy socks.
    I have a basket of comfy socks on my dresser that are cozy and lovely. I bring them out in fall and love to prop my feet up and read or watch TV. The problem is I hardly ever wear them. Instead of letting my favorite comfy socks collect dust and pet hair, I wear my less comfy ones. Why do I that? What do you have in the back of the closet that you’ve been saving for a special occasion? Wear the comfy socks. Put on the dress. Hey, this applies to more than just clothes, so while you’re at it…use the good dishes! Don’t save them another day, use them this Sabbath and enjoy it.
  2. Read the book. 
    I heard somewhere that the lead singer of Sleeping at Last is a devout Christian, though his music is not “Christian”. When he first started his career, he decided he’d never force Jesus into his music, and he’d never force him out. There are many books that can add value to your life and your Sabbath even if they aren’t “Christian” books. If you want to read the book, you enjoy reading the book, and you have time to read the book, then read the book and enjoy it.
  3. Leave the dishes…or DO the dishes.
    Many of us have been conditioned to think we cannot work on Sabbath even if work brings us joy. If doing your dishes brings you peace and calm on Sabbath, you should do it. If leaving them in the sink until after Sabbath hours fulfills you, then do that. Taking care of your home so everyone is comfortable and you’re at peace is not the same thing as clocking in and earning a paycheck. So do the dishes, or don’t do the dishes, but enjoy it.
  4. Let yourself worry.
    There is a reason many people experience anxiety when they lie down to sleep at night. When we finally give our body a rest and shut off all the distracting noises and devices, our minds process our worries. This can happen on Sabbath, too. When we try not to worry, our worries will break into our mind loud and clear. In order to save your peace on the Sabbath, let yourself worry. Every time you have a worrisome thought, jot it down so you can deal with it later.