I have been trying to move toward doing more to honor Shabbat. I do not believe that I am mandated to keep it in the same way as one who is Avraham’s seed by birth (unless further study reveals that I am incorrect on that point). However, I do believe that YHWH gave it to everyone as a gift and that, as one of His appointed times, He meets people in a special way on that day. I also believe that He blesses those who honor it, just as He blesses those who obey His commands and entrust their spiritual well-being to Yeshua/Jesus, the Son.
I started out small by simply praying with my family to acknowledge the start of Shabbat and welcoming it in. It was just something to get us to start thinking about it and focusing on G-d more during that time. I wasn’t consistent and I typically forgot all about closing Shabbat with prayer, but it was a start.
I have checked out some online Shabbat services for Shabbat evening and Shabbat daytime. I am not sure where I will settle, but it is nice to know that I do have some options. Some are more traditional complete with the scripture readings in Hebrew. All have singing and teaching. I have enjoyed being part of some kind of Messianic community. I am hoping the “local” one will start streaming their services. That way, when we do finally get to attend, we will know what is going on and be at least somewhat familiar with the service and people.
I have also been trying to make meals ahead of time so that I do not have to cook on Shabbat. It has been very haphazard, but I think I just may have it covered this week! It is only 2:30 and I already have tonight’s meal planned. Tomorrow’s is thawing out and will go into the crockpot. I have an idea for breakfast, too. I am excited that things are coming together.
During Hanukkah, I made Challah again for the first time in many years. We also, for the very first time, actually did a fuller Chanukah opening…with candles and blessing of the bread. We used a format shared with us by Steve and Shirley Rees from Harp and Story. They are a wonderful couple that we met back in 2001 when the L-rd used Shirley to help me with a huge amount of healing work as the L-rd revealed some of the memories that were hidden away. I also have one from another couple who are local friends with us. Between the two, I hope to come up with one of our own.
Here are the loaves of Challah. The second one is with what we are using as Shabbat candles for the time being. I used a double braid, but as you can see, the top braid slid to the side on one of the loaves.
Here is the beginning of this week’s batch:
Right now, it is raising and will be ready to knead and shape in about a half hour. Last week, I used rapid rise yeast. This week, I am using the regular yeast.
I did a search on the Hebrew word Shabbat using my free E-Sword bible program. It is VERY interesting to see what our Adonai (L-rd) has to say about Shabbat. It really opened my eyes as to what Shabbat is really all about. It is a whole lot more (and different) than what I thought just from reading the 10 Commandments!
What about you? Do you do anything to honor Shabbat? I encourage you to do a search on that word and see what it says. You don’t have to make Challah. You don’t have to light candles. Those are not expressly in scripture. However, there are a lot of other options.
I would love to know what our Abba has put on your heart regarding Shabbat. It does not matter if you do something really big or very little. Abba sees our hearts and knows how we desire to meet with Him and honor Him and His gift of Shabbat.