Remember the Sabbath

The Sabbath Draws the Family Closer Together

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As a young child growing up in an Adventist home in Dayton, Ohio, I have fond memories of our family opening and closing the Sabbath together, something that Adventists have done for a century. I don’t know of any other denomination or group of people who were more committed to this than we were as a people. Perhaps not too many people are doing it anymore because of the fast-paced world and society in which we live now. Years ago, an hour before the sun would set, the dishes had to be washed, clothes had to be pressed, and all of your secular activities completed. We knew that before that sun went down, we had to have everything in order to welcome in God’s Holy Sabbath. I will admit that it was always a rush, and sometimes we crossed over into that sacred hour time-line before the sun was to set. It became a matter of practice and habit; something that we did without giving it much thought because we did it as a regular part of our weekly cycle.

Looking back on it, it was more than just singing songs, quoting Bible texts, and reading a paragraph from the Spirit of Prophecy. It became our family time. There was no TV to watch and certainly no computers; it was just the family and Sabbath chatter. Those moments were precious because not only did they draw us closer as a family, it gave us time to reflect on the week and to be reminded that we were a little different than those who did not keep the Sabbath. We knew we were peculiar because the majority of our friends were out on the town, in the shopping malls, or at sporting events, while we were singing hymns. Little did I know that every opening and closing of Sabbath experience was instilling in me a desire to get to know God on a personal level. It was in that quiet hour before the sunset that I grew closer to God and came to understand that a part of forming a relationship with God is setting time aside just for Him alone.

Although many have forsaken that unique Adventist tradition, I want to challenge you and your family to gather around as our parents did with us, as we did with our children when they were young, and as they now do with their children. By introducing them to God right before the sun sets, we show them that it is necessary to know God by strengthening the family through family worship and fellowship. The only way to have a relationship with God is by setting dedicated time to commune with the Creator. The more you talk to Him in those private settings the better He is able to communicate with you. And my testimony is that it helped not only strengthen my relationship with my siblings and my parents, but it helped to grow my relationship with God.

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