Sunday – a day of rest.
When I was a child, I remember reading in the Little House on the Prairie books about Laura Ingalls having to sit perfectly still all day on Sunday. Their family would attend church, then sit at home reading the Bible for the remainder of the day. They weren’t even allowed to laugh! I remember thinking how awful that would be.
How completely different is our culture today! Stores are open, people work or play on golf courses and the lake – Sunday has become the second Saturday of the week. Even Christians are busy, busy! I don’t know about you, but at the end of a Sunday, I normally feel exhausted and ready for Monday. With rising early, rushing to get ready for church, fellowshipping with friends, then headed back to church for Bible study Sunday night, the day can leave our family slightly grumpy.
God obviously didn’t have exhaustion in mind when he gave the fourth commandment to Moses in Exodus 20:
8 “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you.11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.
Now that we are no longer living under the law, we are not required to keep this commandment in strict form the way the legalistic Jews attempted. Jesus, when on earth, angered the Pharisees by feeding His disciples and healing the sick on the Sabbath. By His teaching, we know that God looks, not only on our actions, but at our heart attitude when it comes to obeying Him.
What about Sunday? What about serving and attending church? What about resting and taking a day off? How can we glorify God on this day?
Rather then attempt to dissect every imaginable way to celebrate Sunday, I’ll share my personal ways. I once heard a pastor teach that Sunday should look different than any other day of the week in your life. If you normally work, Sunday should be your day off. If you usually are doing housework, take a break on Sunday. (Unfortunately, I can’t stop changing diapers for these 24 hours every week… hmmm…. maybe I need to find a way to make that happen!)
Here are a few ways I celebrate Sunday:
- Attend Church
This should be an obvious statement, but our family attends a Bible believing, Bible teaching church. Each Sunday we are encouraged in the Lord as we hear his word taught and fellowship with other believers.
- Enjoy Family
This looks different each week as I do my best to spend time with my girls and love on my husband. We may chat about the sermon, sit on the floor and play ball, or snuggle on the couch watching a movie.
- Little Cooking
Meaning, I cook as little as possible. I will make a large batch of dinner Saturday night, or, more often, I prepare a meal for the crock-pot to cook while we’re at church. Coming into the house hungry with our lunch smelling yummy and waiting on us is fabulous! Breakfast consists of toast or muffins or something easy. For the evening meal, we usually snack on leftovers or have something simple like grilled cheese or popcorn and fruit.
- Little (or no) Cleaning
A typical Sunday equals no extra housework. I usually just rinse the dishes and leave them in the sink; I don’t sweep or vacuum, and I barely pick up the house. Obviously, I do the things that must be done… changing diapers, putting food away so it doesn’t spoil, cleaning up spilled milk and taking out the sticky trash, etc. But if it can wait for tomorrow, I let it!
- Take a nap
Ahhh! Sunday naps are THE BEST! As often as I can, I will snuggle under the covers to relax.
- Spend time with extended family
This is not an every week ordeal. Occasionally, though, we will visit with friends or family during the afternoon or evening as a way to relax and enjoy our day.
- Saturday Prep
On Saturdays I spend time planning for the next day. This involves not only cooking (as mentioned above), but preparing our home and ourselves for a peaceful Sunday. I choose the clothes the girls and I will be wearing and lay them out to make sure we have each shoe, bow, and slip that we need – clean and in one place. I get our diaper bag ready, complete with diapers, sippy cups, and snacks. My Bible is laid next to my purse so I don’t forget it! I try to go to bed with a clean house Saturday night. This doesn’t always happen (just ask my husband about this weekend!!). But, it certainly helps Sunday to stay smooth when we can function in our home without doing unnecessary cleaning.
- Turn off the computer
On Saturday night, I normally turn my computer off and leave it off until Sunday night after our Bible study. I stay off of Facebook, my blog, email, etc. This is a way for me to “take a break” from the normal week. While I certainly don’t feel like it’s a sin to be on the computer on a Sunday (and I still do get on occasionally), I know that it’s beneficial for me to have this break once a week to focus on other, more eternal, things since I am prone to allow what’s online to consume me.
- Keeping my heart on Jesus
Unfortunately, this is the hardest area for me! I would love to tell you that I get up early to have an extended quiet time on the Lord’s day or that I always pray on my way to church for open ears and an open heart. But, I don’t do those things each week. My heart, however, is that each Sunday, and every other day for that matter, I will be seeking Christ more – that Sunday will be the spring board for a week of focusing on my Savior and who He is and what He is teaching me.
How about you? How do you celebrate Sundays in your home? I’d LOVE to hear your ideas!!
“Call the Sabbath a delight
and the holy day of the LORD honorable;
if you honor it, not going your own ways,
or seeking your own pleasure, or talking idly;
Then you shall take delight in the LORD,
and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth;
I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father,
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.” Isaiah 58:13-14