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Sabbath Traditions

Day is Dying in the West

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“Day is dying in the west;

Heaven is touching earth with rest;

Wait and worship while the night

Sets the evening lamps alight

Through all the sky.”

(Day is Dying in the West, Mary A. Lathbury)

As the light of day slowly turned into the colors of sunset and finally into the darkness of night on Friday and Sabbath evenings, our family had a tradition. We would gather together for sunset worship and sing the first verse of the hymn “Day Is Dying in the West” to open our family worship. The song became a beloved family tradition and is one of my most vivid childhood memories. The words were like a living faith song for me as I grew in family relationships and, most importantly, a daily relationship with a loving Creator God. 

When I was very young, I didn’t fully realize the strengthening power that music and consistent family worship brings to living out one’s faith at home. As I grew older I began to appreciate and love the fact that pausing to worship as a family actually drew us closer together and closer to God. The Psalmist wrote, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth” (Psalms 46:10).

In the stillness of those family worship times, I learned the very important lesson of what it means to have a living faith. I gained strength from the knowledge that my parents chose to exalt God in living the message of Joshua in our home and community.

“But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).

The message for our family was simple, clear, and easy to understand: “Our house will serve the Lord!”

By God’s grace, our family and spiritual relationships gained strength from this eternal investment that is called family worship. I encourage you to invest eternally in your family through worship together. I pray the same blessings on your house as you lovingly serve the Lord.

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