So the creation of the heavens and the earth and everything in them was completed. On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested from all his work. Genesis 2:1,2

We have a tradition in our home. Every Friday we do our best to have a clean house and food prepared for the next day's main meal. When the sun is setting we stop our work, we open our hearts to God and invite him into our home to celebrate a special day with us.

It's not that we don't always have God in our home and hearts, but the distractions of the week keep us from focusing on Him. During the week we work and go through our daily routines, seeking to live our lives in harmony with His will. But we always look forward to the Sabbath on the seventh day of every week, because it is a day off to spend with HIM and with each other.

But there's even more to it than that. The Sabbath is packed with special meaning! God has woven those meanings into the Bible narrative for us to discover and treasure. Knowing what the Sabbath really means helps us enter into a deeper, closer fellowship with our precious Lord and Savior.

Is the Sabbath the high point of your week? In the Bible, the seventh day is the climax of the Creation week. Here’s the account of the first Sabbath in Genesis 2:

"The very first Sabbath included a Nature Walk, Creator-led. Adam was eagerly introducing Eve to the animals and telling her the name he had chosen for each one. Eve was sort-of listening, while testing the fragrance of each flower. The Creator was regularly interrupting to show them new species, phylums, color-patterns, and flavors. And then the Lilac-Breasted Roller landed on a nearby branch and stopped them all. Beauty does that." Text and photo © Dick Duerksen

2 On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested from all his work. 3 And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from all his work of creation.

The Sabbath has been coming around faithfully every seven days since the beginning of time. It's a special day to focus on the God we love and the people we love and care for. It’s the birthday of our world!

I love special days, days I don't have to work, days I can focus on my family, my loved ones. In our family we really celebrate birthdays. We don't just sing happy birthday, we fix a special meal, share gifts, and take time to enjoy each other, to fellowship. It is really very nurturing and centering.

In the Bible God is sending us a special invitation, He’s calling us on the phone or sending us a message on Facebook, asking us to reserve that day so we can be together with no distractions, no work, no cell phones, just to be together, to share our lives, our hopes and dreams, to get to know each other better, to serve others together, to deepen our love in the process.

Isaiah 58:13 New King James Version (NKJV)
13 "If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath,
From doing your pleasure on My holy day,
And call the Sabbath a delight,
The holy day of the LORD honorable,
And shall honor Him, not doing your own ways,
Nor finding your own pleasure,
Nor speaking your own words,
14 Then you shall delight yourself in the LORD;
And I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth,
And feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father.
The mouth of the LORD has spoken."

One of the most important buried treasures of the Sabbath is the truth about God’s self-giving love, God’s faithfulness. Our personal circumstances can be turned upside down by death, or even by an earthquake or a tsunami or nuclear disaster. But through it all, every week without fail, from the beginning of time, every seven days, God shows us His steady, constant, enduring love and faithfulness.

Isaiah points out that the most enduring human love relationship—that of a mother nursing her baby—can fail. God’s love is different. It is enduring, in contrast to human love. As Isaiah says, it is possible that a woman could forget or abandon her nursing child, but God promises in Is 49:15, "Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you."

I am so thankful for the treasure of the Sabbath, for its meaning that drives home to our hearts a deep bed-rock trust in the faithfulness of God. What a relief when the Sabbath rolls around! I love the Sabbath—a day to linger in His presence, and to draw near to the heart of God.

"Sabbath! For six days God planted trees, spawned salmon, enlivened the DNA of lions and tigers, pock-marked the moon, taught eagles to soar, and formed awed humans from clay and breath. Then, on day seven, He created LOVE and dedicated the whole day to celebrating His new relationships! And the celebration goes on . . ." Text and photo © Dick Duerksen