Throughout the years, my mindset in relation to the Sabbath has shifted significantly; I have transitioned from being someone who didn’t always observe the Sabbath to someone who does. The thing that was missing for me was my understanding of what the Sabbath meant. Was it on the first day? Was it about rituals? In terms of behavior and activities, what was acceptable in God’s eyes for the Sabbath?
As my faith has deepened, and as I have studied the Word of God, the Sabbath has become a time for me to rest, a time where I can focus on my relationship with Christ. Initially, I focused on all of the worldly distractions around me, without understanding what the Bible had to say about the Sabbath day. I did not understand the meaning of the Sabbath, nor why people referred to Sunday as the Sabbath. I was not aware that the Sabbath day had been changed by the Catholic church. I followed tradition rather than reading the Word of God for myself (beginning with the creation of the Sabbath in Genesis 2:1-3).
I did not fully understand the concept of rest. Was I to do nothing at all? Or what? This was all a learning process, a process which I still continue to build upon. The first thing I needed to grasp was the difference between working, rest, and being of service. I felt conflicted about basic things such as what to do during the Sabbath. I soon realized that Jesus Christ ministered to others during the Sabbath (Luke 13:10-17), so I replaced my business life with ministry. Christ also kept the Sabbath at His death. He died on Good Friday, rested on the Sabbath, and was resurrected on the first day (Luke 24:1-6).
Being of service means serving God through ministry: going into the community to feed the less fortunate, and spending time with family in nature and in worship. Spending time in ministry during the Sabbath allows people to see the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) and the working of Christ in us. It is an effective way for those who may be in despair to see the loving characteristics of God.
In church, the worship and fellowship during the Sabbath gives me an opportunity to replenish my spirit with my own fellow brethren during service. Uniting jointly in prayer and singing hymnals provides an avenue for me to be uplifted while rededicating my heart to God. To me, the Sabbath is a designated day where I can personally recommit myself to Him.