HMY

House of the Master Yeshua

Observing Sabbath at home

The practice of the Sabbaths were not necessarily first originated by the Jews and the first "Christians" who observed the Holy Shabbat. For the practice of the Shabbat was indeed an observance of the Abrahaminic religions so it doesn't necessarily strictly belong to the traditions of the Judeo-Christians. How the dates and necessary preparation are ascertained for the general Shabbat as it is was observed by Yeshua in His time are given here. 

Shabbat for traditional Jews occurred from dusk on Friday evening to Saturday evening.  The original Shabbat was changed for Christians from Friday to Sunday because of the Resurrection and is now called Sabbath. For many Christians believe that the Resurrection occurred on Sunday. So they chose this day to worship. However, the Resurrection is an event that was foreshadowed by the Jewish Passover.  It is correct to make this observance special because of the Resurrection of Yeshua.  However, Resurrection did not eliminate nor eradicate God's earlier covenants with His people.  The faithful can still observe the Shabbat as Sabbath and keep the times appointed to willingly honor God's holy ordinances to commune with Him in His rest. 

It is God the Father that convened the seventh Day Shabbat, to be a day where God rests. We can also "regroup" and spend time in His Holy Presence. If we break the command out of necessity we do not dishonor God. Yeshua clearly showed this when He told us the Shabbat was for men not men for the Shabbat. In  the Jewish Old Testament, people were bound by religious law that believers are NOT to do any work or cause others to work (not even our farm animals), or use any commerce. But yes, there can be emergencies sometime, and we have the freedom to take care of them; but it is imperative to adhere to the rule for the most part for our own good and refreshment. For God knows what our souls need to recover from stress before we do.

We are to "guard and remember the Shabbat." (See Exodus 20:8-11.). Shabbat is about a two-way relationship with our God through scriptural reflection or prayer (whether at home or at a congregation). We can rest from our daily work of the week.  The Shabbat is a day of "rest from income-producing work, and hobbies and chores to prevent us from straying too far from a spiritually balanced perspective and turning our labors into a demoralizing vice. (Exodus 35:1-3)...It is important to realize that God placed tremendous importance upon His "Shabbat" in that He called it a "sign" between Him and His people.

Exodus 20: 8 "Remember the day, Shabbat, to set it apart for God. 9 You have six days to labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Shabbat for ADONAI your God. On it, you are not to do any kind of work -not you, your son or your daughter, not your male or female slave, not your livestock, and not the foreigner staying with you inside the gates to your property. 11 For in six days, ADONAI made heaven and earth, the sea and everything in them; but on the seventh day He rested.

Exodus 31: 13 "Speak also to the children of Israel, saying: 'Surely My Shabbats you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the Lord who sanctifies you."

Exodus 31: 16 "Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Shabbat, to observe the Shabbat throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant. 17 It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.'"

Isaiah 66: 23 And it shall be that from one New Moon to another New Moon and from one Shabbat to another Shabbat, all flesh shall come to worship before Me, says the Lord. Jeremiah 17: 21 

In this scripture about the importance of keeping the Shabbat holy, we can clearly see that God's "day" begins and ends at sunset:

Nehemiah 13: 19 So when the gates of Jerusalem began to grow dark before Shabbat, I ordered that the doors be shut; and I ordered that they not be reopened until after Shabbat. I put some of my servants in charge of the gates, to see to it that no loads be brought in on Shabbat.

Isaiah 58: 13 If you hold back your foot on Shabbat from pursuing your own interests on my holy day; if you call Shabbat a delight, ADONAI'S holy day, worth honoring; then honor it by not doing your usual things or pursuing your interests or speaking about them. If you do, you will find delight in ADONAI......"

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There is no set way to observe the Sabbath for it is a CUSTOM not a command. Here is an example of how spiritually minded Jews honor the Shabbat tradition. You can adapt this in your own way being minister of your own house and family.

On Friday evenings, around sunset, family are gathered together around the dinner table. 

The lady of the household lights two candles. With the woman covering her head, she lights the candles, cradles the "light" of the candles with her hands drawing it toward her face  three times and covering her eyes.

Then she says: Blessed are You, God our Elohim, King of the Universe, Who has set us apart by His commandments and given us ordinance concerning the Shabbat. 

The man of the household reads from Exodus 31:16-17 16

'So the sons of Israel shall observe the Shabbat, to celebrate the Shabbat throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant.' 17" It is a sign between Me and the sons of Israel forever; for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day He ceased from labor, and was refreshed.'

All participants turn toward east and say the Shema.

"Hear, Israel, ADONAI is our God, ADONAI is One. Blessed be the Name of His glorious kingdom for ever and ever."

Then everyone lifts his glass of wine(or grape juice) and says the following together:

"Blessed are You, God our Elohim, King of the Universe, who creates the fruit of the vine."

Then, the head of the house holds up the bread and everyone chimes in with the following: 

"Blessed are You, God our Elohim, King of the Universe, who brings forth bread from the earth. The bread is then passed around and everyone takes a portion and places it on his plate.

Then everyone eats together. The type of food served at Shabbat can be a creative mix of traditional food or a choice of modern foods such as pizza, pasta or burgers. There is no hard and fast rule about what type of bread to use. 

Afterward, the father blesses his children with a formal blessing using scripture or impromptu blessing.

Then the husband blesses his wife, and she blesses him.

Then the whole family blesses and thanks God for bringing in another Shabbat!

And then you eat and rest and relax!

In retrospect, the original and true Shabbat does not mean going to church, attending a service then going out to eat. Shabbat as was originally intended means rest and relaxation AT HOME while remembering, above all, to nurture your relationship with God, your Heavenly Father.

Shabbat as Sabbath is your special time with Him every Friday evening to Saturday evening!

Of course, it is okay to attend a public place to fellowship with other believers in a Christian Church or Jewish Synagogue. This can take place on Saturday morning or evening or Sunday morning or evening to fellowship with other believers and to pray with people outside your home circle. But going to church on the Sabbath does not necessarily replace the observance of Shabbat just as celebrating Easter does not replace honoring the Passover!

But whether church or synagogue traditions are observed or not, as always and forever, the Sabbath (Shabbat) is clearly distinct from those and should be observed within the inner sanctum we call home (AT HOME) not in a public place, by the family who loves and honors God. Yeshua practiced this observance and told his disciples He was not come to abolish the law,  but to fulfill it.