Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sabbath Sunset

A few years ago my husband and I had the privilege of wandering through the Jewish quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem. It was just before sunset on a Friday evening. We were surrounded by families hustling and bustling, dressed in their Sabbath finest, finishing their last minute preparations for the Sabbath. The dress of the Hassidic Jews were particularly stunning. Their eyes were constantly turning towards the sky, checking the progression of the sunset. As we watched their busied preparations for the Sabbath and the rejoicing they enjoyed as they gathered with family, I was deeply impressed that there was much I could learn from these wonderful people about honoring the Sabbath. Every step was taken to insure that the Sabbath was honored to the highest degree - from manner of dress to the many preparations for the day of rest.

I've been thinking a great deal about this experience this week in conjunction with Elder Perry's General Conference talk - "The Sabbath and the Sacrament". One of my favorite quotes from his talk stated;

“Trifle not with sacred things,” the Lord revealed to the Latter-day Saints, as if to remind us of what He told His disciples: “The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath.”

Brothers and sisters, in the latter days the adversary succeeds when we relax our commitment to the Savior, ignore His teachings in the New Testament and other scripture, and cease to follow Him. Parents, now is the time to teach our children to be examples of the believers by attending sacrament meeting. When Sunday morning arrives, help them to be well rested, properly dressed, and spiritually prepared to partake of the emblems of the sacrament and receive the enlightening, edifying, ennobling power of the Holy Ghost. Let your family be filled with love as you honor the Sabbath all day long and experience its spiritual blessings throughout the week. Invite your sons and daughters to “arise and shine forth” by keeping the Sabbath day holy, that “[their] light may be a standard for the nations."

On Sunday mornings we are usually well rested and properly dressed, but as a family are we spiritually prepared to partake of the Sacrament?

The week prior to each Easter our family spends significant time spiritually preparing for Easter Sunday through our focused scripture study, family activities etc. Easter Sunday, as a result, is always one of our most spiritually rewarding Sundays of the year.

Each week we have an opportunity to commemorate the Atonement and Resurrection as we honor the Sabbath and partake of the Sacrament. Is the Sabbath as sacred to me and my family as it should be?

Upon observation in the Old City, the Sabbath was clearly a sacred event that happens each and every week. I'm starting to better understand that the Sabbath can and ought be the same in our home - a sacred Easter of sorts, full of rejoicing and worship.

Elder Perry stated;

On this day before the Sabbath, as we begin this great conference, let us remember the blessings and opportunities that are ours as we attend sacrament meeting each week in our wards and branches. Let us prepare and conduct ourselves on the Sabbath in a manner that will call down the blessings promised us upon ourselves and our families. I bear my special witness that the greatest joy we receive in this life is in following the Savior. May we keep His commandments by keeping His sacred day holy...

Now for implementation! Any thoughts on how your spiritually prepare your family for the Sabbath would be very much appreciated!

1 comment:

  1. hmmm, it is hard for me to prepare for the Sabbath but reading this made me think I need to make it an actual thing I think about. I feel like Saturdays I spend soo much time running all the errands that need to be done before Sunday that I don't even really focus on the fact that the next day is Sunday. I think I need to buy more Christ related CD's or something and maybe only play those on Saturday as well.....

    I dunno. Great post Steph. Also, I am glad that we had the same lunch yesterday =) YAY for McDonalds right..... always tasty.