My Sabbath Journey

by Steve Case

In my family we enjoy keeping the Sabbath each week. Both my wife and I grew up in families that observed the Sabbath from sundown on Friday until sundown on Saturday.
As I child, I knew that Sabbaths were a celebration of something special. We had special foods, family gatherings and outings, and a ?Sabbath Box? of toys and games reserved for only Sabbath time. We also worshipped with a community of fellow Sabbathkeepers. All of this led me to eagerly anticipate the Sabbath.

Through adolescence, my challenge as I forged my identity included how to relate to a Sabbath my parents had planned during my childhood. In order to experience Sabbath in its fullness at this point in my development, I needed to take some personal responsibility by planning in advance. Too often I found that Sabbath had begun, but I hadn?t shifted gears or ?prepared? or built anticipation. It was as though Sabbath had become an uninvited visitor to our house, and I hadn?t cleaned up, bought food, or maybe wasn?t even home to answer when the doorbell rang!

As a young adult, I became intrigued by Abraham Heschel?s presentation of the Sabbath. He described Sabbath as a centering of one?s life in time each week. This contrasted with my weekly grind of living in and conquering space. I found myself getting caught up in making my mark in the world and drifting toward endless busyness. The weekly Sabbath rescued me from the rat race and returned me to the paradigm of God?s view of reality. I needed (and still do) that at least once a week!

Sabbath started at Creation. If I?m a creationist, I will accept this gift God gave us at Creation. Since I?ve been created in God?s image, I will be creative in planning for Sabbath in advance. If I do nothing or just wait to see what might evolve on its own for Sabbath, I?m merely an evolutionist. How about you?

Steve Case, a graduate of Andrews University Theological Seminary, is president of Piece of the Pie Ministries. He and his wife and daughter live near Sacramento, California, where they look forward to Sabbaths. Steve is the author of Time Out! On the Case, Hands-on Service Ideas for Youth Groups,and It?s My Choice: Junior Baptismal Guide, available at www.AdventistBookCenter.com.

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