* Be grateful. Use the Sabbath as a time to ponder the many ways God has blessed you. Notice what you have and ask God to help you be content with it. Take time to thank God for the greatest gift of all – Himself – and for other blessings He has given you. Rejoice that God faithfully provides everything you need. Celebrate the freedom Jesus has given you from sin, death, and evil.

* Reflect on your life. During the Sabbath, take time to think and pray about important questions such as: “What do I really care about?”, “What are my deepest feelings and longings?”, “In what areas of life do I need God the most?”, “What do I need to confess to God?”, “What do I need to explore that has great potential for growth?”, “Who am I, anyway?”, “Why am I here?”and “What purpose does God have for my life?.”

* Don’t lapse into legalism. Be flexible and gentle with yourself when observing the Sabbath. Remember that it’s meant to be a gift rather than a burden. Don’t feel guilty if you sometimes need to do something on the Sabbath that you normally wouldn’t do. Look to Jesus’ example of keeping the spirit of the Sabbath without conforming to its rules in an unhealthy way.

Adapted from Sabbath Keeping: Finding Freedom in the Rhythms of Rest, copyright 2005 by Lynne M. Baab.  Published by InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, Ill., www.ivpress.com.    

Lynne M. Baab (M. Div., Fuller Theological Seminary) served as associate pastor at Bethany Presbyterian Church before leaving the active pastorate in 2004 to pursue doctoral studies at the University of Washington. She is the author of several books, most recently A Renewed Spirituality: Finding Fresh Paths at Midlife and Beating Burnout in Congregations. She and her husband live in Seattle.