A Day of Rest and Service (What the Sabbath Means to Me, #9)

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A Day of Rest and Service (What the Sabbath Means to Me, #9)

It’s fair to say that the Sabbath is my favorite day of the week. There’s no television or assignments—nothing but peaceful rest and observation of this sacred day. I feel like a kid anticipating their favorite holiday; waiting six full days for another Sabbath to roll around can be pure torture at times. Six whole days of labor-intensive activity can be brutal; factor in the scorching Miami sun, and you have a recipe for the seventh-day rest.

Each Sabbath, I look forward to getting to church, and seeing all the familiar faces lifting holy hands and hearing the Word of God. My Sabbath routine is flawless, and I love it that way. Imagine, then, the conundrum I found myself in when a friend of mine invited me to participate in a service project on the following Sabbath.

Ummm, wait. Hold on. When?

“Wha-what about Sunday afternoon?” I found myself stuttering. “I can even meet up with you Thursday after work. Maybe even Monday on my lunch break, just not Saturday,” I concluded.

All I wanted to do was sit in the pew and enjoy my Sabbath day—maybe even catch a quick snooze session—, close out the Sabbath, and do it all again the following week. I didn’t want to sign up for the whole “help humanity” idea. I just wanted to rest in the Lord. No helping, no evangelism, no great commission; I have 6 days for that! But wait. What was I saying? Had I become like the Pharisee who accused Jesus of doing good on the Sabbath? I had some soul searching to do.

I called my friend later on that day and assured her I would be there. I even volunteered to bring dinner roll for the dinner plates. I found out they would be feeding over 75 homeless people at a local park. The next Sabbath rolled around and I found a church not far from the outreach location that had an 8am service.

After the service, I met up with my friend and about a dozen other volunteers. We spent the latter half of the morning making lunch plates and preparing sandwiches. By noon, we were passing out food and offering prayers to over 75 homeless individuals. As I handed the last few cookies to an older lady, I thought about Matthew 25:35, “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.”

Could it be that I had become so accustomed to the luxuries of the Sabbath, that I couldn’t help my fellow man? I realized I had completed lost sight of my duties as a believer. We are the hands and feet of Jesus, and this is indeed a full time job.

I returned quite a few times to the monthly outreach excursion. It was such a reflective moment—one of gratitude and appreciation for all that God allows us to have and how we can, in turn, be a blessing.

My view of the Sabbath was forever changed. I now see it as a day of rest and service.

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About the author

Daniela Jean

Daniela Jean lives in Miami, FL, and works for local government. She loves mentoring and working with young people, and has a passion for ministry.