Sabbath Resource

What is Sabbath? 

By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. 

Genesis 2:2-3

Each morning everyone gathered as much as they needed, and when the sun grew hot, it melted away. On the sixth day, they gathered twice as much—two omers for each person—and the leaders of the community came and reported this to Moses. He said to them, “This is what the Lord commanded: ‘Tomorrow is to be a day of sabbath rest, a holy sabbath to the Lord. So bake what you want to bake and boil what you want to boil. Save whatever is left and keep it until morning.’”

Exodus 16:21-23

Sabbath is a holy rest. It’s a 24-hour time period of restful worship, during which we cultivate a restful spirit in all of our life.

What’s the difference between work and rest?

On a day off, you don’t work for your employer, but you still work.

  • Grocery shop

  • Run errands

  • Clean the house / mow the lawn

  • Work on house projects

  • Read the book you’ve been reading

  • Chip away at a TV series

On the Sabbath, you only rest and worship.

Prepare for the Sabbath

Think of the Sabbath like a weekly holiday. You don’t just wake up on Christmas morning and think, “What should we do today?” No, you get ready for it. The same is true for Thanksgiving or the Fourth of July or your birthday or anniversary — you plan and prep and shop and look forward to it for days at a time. 

Get your chores done BEFORE the Sabbath

  • Clean the house

  • Finish the to-do list 

  • Go grocery shopping

Set your away message for work.

The Basics of Sabbath

  • Mark out a 24-hour time period (or as close as you can) to rest and worship
  • Try and begin in the evening - it’s easier to transition your mind from work to rest
  • Try and establish a regular rhythm of Sabbath on the same day each week
  • Pick a ritual to clearly begin and end your Sabbath
    • This gives you a marked moment that will help you settle into rest, and help you reenter the week with a restful spirit. 
Start your Sabbath
  • Light two candles (symbolic for the two commands in Exodus and Deuteronomy to “remember” and “observe” the Sabbath) 
  • Pray a blessing over your family and/or friends you may be Sabbathing with
  • Read a Psalm, sing a song, quote a poem, or pray a liturgy to center on God.
  • Pray
  • Share a meal with your family or friends. (if starting in evening)
  • Go to church and worship (if starting in morning)


End your Sabbath
  • Prayer walk
  • Read a psalm.
  • Share a meal with family and friends.
  • Prayers of gratitude
  • Traditional end to Sabbath: light a candle, and share your best part of Sabbath and what you’re looking forward to in the week ahead
  • Fill your day with activities that are life-giving for your soul.
    • This is not a “to-do list” - just a list of activities that you find restful and restorative. There is no right way - adapt Sabbath to your personality, preferences, stage of life and how you typically connect with God. 
  • Begin to distinguish between recreation and restoration. 
    • Transition FROM entertainment, TV, social media, shopping, and going “out,” 
    • Transition TO activities that deeply connect you to Jesus and his rest.

Sabbath Ideas

  • Eating a meal.

  • Singing.

  • Worshiping with your Community.

  • Walking

  • Napping.

  • Reading.

  • Spending time alone with God.

  • Spending time with family and friends.

  • Practicing Gratitude.


Ask these questions to help you determine your best Sabbath:

  • What about my regular routine would I need to stop to experience the Sabbath?

  • What is restful for me?

  • What brings me an easy delight?

  • What is a worshipful way I connect to God?