On this day of the week, I hear so many say 'Happy Sabbath.'
I myself say it a lot. At Friday sundown, on Sabbath morning, at potluck time. I say it with a smile and a handshake. Perhaps I tweet or Facebook something about it. Or upload an Instagram photo and hashtag happy sabbath.
But I had a thought last week, just a very simple thought. Am I living these days as if it were truly a happy sabbath? Is my behavior in harmony with what I wish and speak to my church community?
Happy is simple. It reminds me of Matthew 5. It reminds me of the beatitudes and the joy that is found in abiding in the Lord according to John 15. Happy is the man who abides, obeys, and trusts the Lord.
So my question for the happy in 'happy Sabbath' is did my week fall in harmony with the Lord? Did I abide, obey, trust? Did my week agree with the beatitudes? Did my week agree with what the Scriptures say brings happiness to man? If so, then I can be sure that my Sabbath will have the happy element.
The Sabbath part is not complicated either. Let me just share this break down of the old Hebrew word.
We could go in all sorts of different direction with the Sabbath portion, but let's keep it simple and allow the Spirit to guide.
On the day of ceasing and desisting and resting and stopping, I have to ask myself if I really am stopping. When I say 'Happy Sabbath,' am I behaving in a way that says: whatever my secular pursuits are, whatever my normal train of thinking is, whatever stress and anxiety about the future, whatever things that might impede my ability to fully rest, fully cease, and allow the time to be spent in worshipping God, I will desist from such thoughts and activities and feelings.
Is that the sabbath I am experiencing when I say 'Happy Sabbath?'
So that was my thought. A simple thought. Rather than just say happy Sabbath, do happy Sabbath.
These are the summarized portions: Was my week spent abiding in the Lord so that happiness is reaped as a fruit to be tasted on this seventh-day? Am I allowing myself to taste the fruit of worship by ceasing and desisting and resting and stopping whatever might cripple my ability to reach out and grab the fruit?
If yes to both, then happy Sabbath indeed, my brother and sister.