Saturday, February 27, 2010

Looking back: The Sabbath Journey

My husband and I are in our 3rd year of our Messianic walk. We have been believers in the Messiah for many more years (coming up on 10 for me), but became increasingly Torah observant when our oldest was 3 months old.

I just started to read the blog Fearlessly Feminine and this post about Shabbat got me thinking about how we got where we are today. In it she says:

I have heard countless testimonies of individuals coming to the realization that they should be keeping the Sabbath as the first step in their journey to becoming messianic.

How true! I think a main reason for that is although most believers claim the 10 commandments are applicable to the general Christian, most only practice 9, leaving the Sabbath as something undefined. Sure, there is church on Sunday... but why? And those of us who just can't leave it well enough alone start looking for answers.

Looking back over my life, the Sabbath/Shabbat had a hold of me long before I was even a follower of the Creator. It started when I spent a lot of time with my best friend and her family growing up. They are Mormons, and although I have a lot of issues with that religion, the Sabbath was an important day to them. It was Sunday, sure, but I knew they did no shopping and no homework and it was a day set aside for God, His people, and family. That exposure bugged me as a Sunday Christian where, other than attending church service, there was nothing different about the day. Even "Christian" bookstores were open. (don't get me started on how a bookstore can become a Christian :)

Early in my Christian walk, I read Nehemiah. He was passionate about keeping the Sabbath holy, angry at its neglect by the people. I've never been able to get away from the nag of that passion; I desire to have it as boldly as he did:

"... All kinds of goods were being brought to Jerusalem on the Sabbath day. So I warned [them] against selling food on that day. The Tyrians living there were importing fish and all kinds of merchandise and selling them on the Sabbath to the people of Judah in Jerusalem.

I rebuked the nobles of Judah and said to them: "What is this evil you are doing—profaning the Sabbath day? Didn't your ancestors do the same, so that our God brought all this disaster on us and on this city? And now you are rekindling [His] anger against Israel by profaning the Sabbath!" When shadows began to fall on the gates of Jerusalem just before the Sabbath, I gave orders that the gates be closed and not opened until after the Sabbath. I posted some of my men at the gates, so that no goods could enter during the Sabbath day...Then I instructed the Levites to purify themselves and guard the gates in order to keep the Sabbath day holy." Nehemiah 13:15-22

And finally, as a Pregnancy Center employee, God gave me Seventh Day Adventist friends. My client was a sweet woman who obviously loved God. Her husband was a kind man who would not, NOT, give up on me observing the 7th day Sabbath! We had conversations over 2 years, spilling out from work into conversations between him and my husband. Sabbath conversations are hard enough, but these were all in Spanish! God was working at me anyway He could, even through a severe language barrier.

After a year in a Torah Club homestudy, thinking everyone was nuts (but really wonderful people) we started Torah Club 4: The Good News of Messiah. In the first or 2nd week, both our eyes were opened. Suddenly, everything made sense. That Friday night, my wonderful husband looked at me and said, “Well I don’t know what we can or can’t do on Shabbat, but going to the Congregation we can’t go wrong.” And we’ve never gone back.


Jenny M said...

Love this post. I think it's so beautiful how Hashem draws us closer through His holy day. As I child, I remember not being comfortable with the Sunday observance (or lack thereof)...I wanted more than just going to church and then having a big lunch. Thankfully, He revealed the beauty of Shabbat to my parents! And now, 15 years later...every Shabbat becomes more and more special as my husband and I are teaching our first daughter about Shabbat Kodesh. : )

His Talmidat said...

Thanks Jenny! He does have a way of drawing us doesn't He? An artist whose work I can only seem to see after I've walked through the painting :) I've got a lot to learn about Shabbat, especially when our families and most friends do not celebrate it, let alone observe it. Worth the challenge though. Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

Nice post! When my husband and I started observing the Sabbath we did our shopping on Sunday. I remember noticing that as soon as church got out all the christians filled the stores to do their shopping. I felt like saying, "If this if your day, go home and rest!" I never would have even thought about it before, but once you start observing Hashems laws, you see the world much differently.