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Seventh-day Adventists keep what most of the world would call a “Jewish” Sabbath. Sundown Friday to Sundown Saturday. We are called to ‘guard the edges of the Sabbath’.  Which means don’t let secular things creep into that Holy time we are suppose to be spending with God.

I’ve never been good with that..and it bothers me.  Sundown on Friday evenings always seems to appear WAY too quickly, and finds me with Church clothes still to be ironed, or the dishes still need to be washed, my potluck dish still isn’t in the oven yet etc etc etc.

During the Summer Sabbath Afternoons seems to drag on and on…since none of the things that I would normally do would be considered keeping Sabbath “Holy”.  There are things that I think would be acceptable but refrain from doing because it could cause problems for others trying to keep Sabbath.

Today on Facebook my pastor posted this:

2T ch81 #4, “When the Sabbath commences, we should place a guard upon ourselves, upon our acts and our words, lest we rob God by appropriating to our own use that time which is strictly the Lord’s. We should not do ourselves, nor suffer our children to do, any manner of our own work for a livelihood, or anything which could have been done on the six working days. Friday is the day of preparation. Time can then be devoted to making the necessary preparation for the Sabbath and to thinking and conversing about it. Nothing which will in the sight of Heaven be regarded as a violation of the holy Sabbath should be left unsaid or undone, to be said or done upon the Sabbath. God requires not only that we refrain from physical labor upon the Sabbath, but that the mind be disciplined to dwell upon sacred themes. The fourth commandment is virtually transgressed by conversing upon worldly things or by engaging in light and trifling conversation. Talking upon anything or everything which may come into the mind is speaking our own words. Every deviation from right brings us into bondage and condemnation.” {2T 702.1}

Are you REALLY keeping the Sabbath day Holy?

My question back was: Is it possible for something to be “holy” for one person, but not another?

My answer to my own question is: YES.  The spirit in which the activity is done is more important then the activity itself.  Commonly people will go on nature walks/hikes on Sabbath.  They find it to be a communion time with God and his beautiful creation.  I find walks/hikes to be torturous and NOT peaceful, restful or holy. I go on them because I feel like I have to.  I do not do it with a willing spirit, and thus go from keeping the Sabbath holy, to breaking the Sabbath by spirit not deed.

I use my Grandmother as an example.  She did all of the handicrafts that you would expect of a Southern woman raising her family in the 30s and 40s.  She quilted and sewed, but mainly she crocheted. Grandmother would have never have picked up a crochet hook on Sabbath.  To her that was something she could do any other day of the week.  It would have been breaking Sabbath to her.

On the other hand, I find crocheting on Sabbath to be a very peaceful, and I don’t feel quilting or crocheting on missionary/charity projects break Sabbath.  I’ve even heard of a group of Church ladies who hold a quilting bee one Sabbath a month to work on quilts they have made to donate to cancer patients, or send to charities like Project Linus.

The Spirit of the activities are just as important as the activities themselves.

I know many people my age, in the Church, who don’t think this is an issue, that this is just legalistic dogma that should be discarded along the wayside. But if you are going to do things half way, why bother doing them at all?  So I will continue to pray and work on getting better at this 🙂  I’m hoping that we can start organizing some afternoon activities that will help us grow Spiritual but also keep us engaged and not bored and tempted.