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Celebrating Sabbath
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As I read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, I discover that God's Sabbath has been and always will be celebrated. As a gift to man, the Sabbath was given at Creation. It was observed through Old and New Testament times, and is mentioned as a day that will be celebrated even in the New Earth. Why? Celebrating Sabbath honors God as Creator and Redeemer is certainly worth holding on to throughout the ages.

It is also a joy to celebrate Sabbath throughout the phases of our earthly lives. I think of the great family traditions in my own childhood that made Sabbath special. There was the “Sabbath Box” that my mom got out only on Sabbath, which contained various crafts, books, and tapes. And I have to laugh when I think about the special treat of frozen dinners that we would have on Sabbath sometimes. Now my mom is an excellent cook, but for some reason, we thought TV dinners were some great luxury. So when the time-bake oven came into the picture, we could come home from church and smell the aroma of the TV dinners all cooked and ready to be eaten.

When I got older, I enjoyed special Bible knowledge games that my family played together on Sabbath. Music was also a great part of the special day.

Family Fun

When Mark and I married and had our own children, we passed on our love for the Sabbath to them and added some of our own family fun. For example, our kids had matching Minnie and Mickey Mouse sleeping bags. Since they didn't do a lot of camping at that age, they brought them into our room and camped each Friday night beside our bed.

Now that the children have grown up, we are in another phase of life with new traditions. But one thing that time does not change is our love and celebration of Sabbath. There are no kids camping in our room, but that same special presence of God that comes with the arrival of this time each week never leaves. I now enjoy sitting in a comfortable chair reading the Bible or an inspirational magazine or book. Or maybe taking a relaxing ride on the back of Mark's motorcycle and enjoying a scenic destination. A peaceful walk helps us forget for a few hours the cares of the past week and the ones that will, no doubt, be awaiting us in the coming week.

I imagine when we grow older, we will find even more ways to enjoy the Sabbath blessing. Perhaps we'll hold grandchildren on our laps and read them stories about Jesus and teach them songs of praise to God, their Creator. Perhaps age will cause us to nod off now and then during church services. Whatever comes with the years, though, will bring with it a continued love for this weekly celebration that was handed down first from God, then from our parents, followed by our sharing it with our own children.

As the hymn rings, "welcome, welcome, ever welcome, blessed Sabbath day", so ring our hearts with gladness for this special time of fellowship with our Creator and each other.

"The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath" (Mark 2:27).

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By Gwen Scott Simmons. Copyright © 2012 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.

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