From Jim’s Cluttered Desks
January 12, 2022
We met several people Sunday: Mary of Magdala, Nicodemus, Simon and his brother Andrew, and Matthew. This Sunday we are going to see how they observed Shabbat (Sabbath in English), the Jewish day of rest. Mary, Nicodemus, Simon, and Matthew will each observe Shabbat in different ways and experience Shabbat with different results.
Shabbat is the day of the week when observant Jews obey the Fourth Commandment (Exodus 20:8-11 and Deuteronomy 5:12). In these passages we see two different reasons for keeping the Shabbat:
Sabbath traditions among Jews vary just as Christian worship traditions do. In most traditional families Shabbat begins Friday night at sundown. A family meal is the centerpiece of the evening and begins with candle lighting and prayers.
The woman of the house begins the ceremony with a blessing and candle lighting. Usually there are two candles on the table.
She will pray: Blessed are You, Lord, our God, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments and has commanded us to light the candle of Shabbat and of the Day of Remembrance.
Other prayers are offered during the meal and often the conversation is directed toward the reasons for a special day of rest.
Following the Shabbat meal the family would go to bed and attend synagogue services the next day. Jesus attended synagogue services “as was his habit” (Luke 4:16). These were the Sabbath traditions with which Jesus was raised.
Does your family have any religious traditions like this? What religious traditions were you raised with?
See you Sunday,