Holidays and Sabbaths

Dear Reader,

I overheard a bit of a conversation yesterday that intrigued me. The person speaking had Jewish family (from later conversation it became clear that she herself was not actually Jewish). She was saying how Christians just have two big holidays a year– Christmas and Easter– but that Jews have a holiday every week in the Sabbath. Every week they have  a day that is celebrated with feasting and family (and presumably at least for some religious observances; I am not sure that was part of it for this woman).

And my thought was that this is how it should be for Christians too. We also have a Sabbath, a day for rest and worship and not for one’s usual work. And it should be a good day, a day of joy and celebration.

Our belief is that since Scripture does not command us to celebrate Christmas and Easter, we should not do so as a part of public worship. This is the Regulative Principle of Worship which basically says God cares about how He is worshipped and we should only do things in worship that He has specifically commanded us to do. This is also why we sing Psalms and not man-made songs, whether they be hymns or contemporary music.

What this boils down to for our family specifically is that we do celebrate Christmas in our home but we do not go to church for it. Indeed, our church has no Christmas services. There are families in our denomination that don’t celebrate Christmas at all and we believe that is a legitimate choice also.

Easter is a little trickier since it always falls on Sunday which is our Sabbath. In general, we don’t like to let other things interfere with the Sabbath. We would never, for instance, have a birthday party on Sunday. On the other hand, we do celebrate Christ’s resurrection. We do it every week, not just once a year. So I guess we do do what other Christians are doing on Easter to some extent; it’s just that we are hopefully doing it every other Sunday too.

Which brings me back to the conversation I overheard. What this woman described, a holiday every week, is what I think we should be having. But the truth is, for our family the Sabbath tends to be more about rest and less about celebration. Which is a fancy wat of saying we are lazy. So perhaps I need to think about how we can make that weekly holiday more of a time of joy. I would love for it to be a day my kids look forward to. I know the picture we get of Sabbath-keeping (I am picturing Laura Ingalls sitting still in a chair all day, only looking at the Bible) tends to be a dreary one. But the Christian Sabbath should be a day fo rejoicing. It should make us glad.

Any thoughts on how we can achieve that?


p.s. Our family loves crafts so while we do not dye eggs for Easter, we do pick up cheap dye kits after the day and use them periodically throughout the year.

3 responses to this post.

  1. I left a long comment but it wouldn’t let me log in 😦


  2. Try again! In short, we used to have lovely Lord’s Days when the children were younger. Now it seems that teenagers and aging parents think more about rest 🙂
    Bible quizzes and board games, lots of reading and singing, hopitality and special food were all ways we used to make the day special.
    P.S. How are you family health wise these days?


    • Thanks for taking the time to comment –twice! Thanks for asking about the family too. I had been thinking it was a while since I had posted anything on our health issues. The child with type 1 diabetes is the same–doing well. As you know, diabetes never stops. My son with the headaches seems to be over them; yay! It has been 4 months or so since he had a headache. We still struggle with itchy skin and eczema with two kids. My youngest is off dairy, wheat and soy which has been an adjustment. We have alos started bathing her every day in either epsom salts or bleach. She loves baths though so while it is one more thing to do each day, it is not a struggle. Hope your family is well. Merry Christmas (a day late)!


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