The Sabbath is more than just a day off from work. It’s a special day that God has blessed. He made the Sabbath holy and commands us to rest from our work on that day. But many people ask, "What should we do on the Sabbath? What do we do all day?" Here are a few ideas:
- Worship: What better way to celebrate the Sabbath than by worshipping God corporately with others at church? (Don’t forget Sabbath School!) We can worship God privately, but worshipping with others and encouraging one another in our walk with God should not be neglected (Hebrews 10:24, 25). That is why church is so important for our spiritual health.
- Read the Bible: Our personal devotional time can easily get rushed or crowded out during a busy week. But Sabbath gives us an opportunity to slow down and spend more time reading the Bible. One of my favorite memories from college was when I had nothing to do one Sabbath afternoon. I spent that whole afternoon reading the Bible. It was a great experience, and it wouldn’t have been possible any other day of the week.
- Pray: See #2 above. Same idea. Resting from our weekday routine can give us more time to pray. Prayer is essential for our spiritual health, just like reading the Bible. In fact, we should spend time reading the Bible and praying every day. But Sabbath gives us more time for these spiritual disciplines. And if you are wondering what to do on the Sabbath, why not spend some of that extra time praying and reading the Bible?
- Fellowship: One reason Sabbath is my favorite day of the week is because it’s a day for fellowship. It’s a time for families to be together. Sabbath gives us a break from our hectic schedules that rob us of time with our loved ones. Sabbath is also a good time to be with friends and to get better acquainted with other church members. Call or video chat with your loved ones who live far away.
- Sabbath Lunch: Enjoy a nice meal with others. See #4 above on Fellowship. Invite some people to your home and enjoy a meal together. This could also apply to a Friday evening dinner.
- Rest: God commands us to rest from our work on the Sabbath. We need to take a break. So slow down and get some rest for your body and soul. Go to bed earlier. Or take an afternoon nap.
- Experience nature: You can do this from your back yard. Watch the birds. Listen to the sounds of nature. Look at the leaves (or flowers, depending on the time of year). Or go for a walk at a park. Enjoy seeing the things that God has created.
- Simplify: How to do this? Keep things simple so that the Sabbath is not a stressful day. Take care of chores and errands during the week so you don’t have to do them on Sabbath. Use paper plates and plastic utensils so you don’t have to do dishes. Turn off the TV and the other electronics to give yourself a break from all the noise and distraction. This will also help you experience fellowship with others because you won't be distracted by all of these things.
- Games: There are lots of fun Sabbath games to play. Many of the these are for kids, but adults will probably enjoy them too. Egypt to Canaan was one of my favorites as a kid. Miracles and Pitfalls is another good one. There are many good Bible trivia games. Heroes for iOS is a really fun Bible trivia game that asks questions about Bible characters. Maybe you can try naming all the books of the Bible in order. Use your imagination and create your own Bible games. "Hide and Seek" is also a fun game to play with little kids.
- Listen: I already mentioned listening to nature sounds. But you can also listen to an audio Bible or a sermon by a favorite preacher. Or listen to some Christian music. Take time to pay attention to the song lyrics. When was the last time you did that?
- Minister to others: Do something for another person. Take some food to someone who is sick or needy. Go visit a nursing home or a church member who is homebound. Get a group of musicians together and put on a small concert for them.
- Open and Close the Sabbath: Do something special to mark the beginning and ending of Sabbath. Have a short worship and prayer with your family and friends. You might want to light some candles to set the atmosphere. Put on some music. Whatever makes it special.
Well, these are just a few ideas I came up with after many minutes of extremely careful and methodical research. This is not a complete list, though. There are so many wonderful things we can do on the Sabbath to enhance our spiritual lives, reconnect with our family and friends, and draw closer to God. Maybe this list will help you think of some of your own!
For more ideas, check out the website called Sabbath Ideas. They have hundreds of great ideas on how to enjoy the Sabbath.