[This post is part of a series about observing a sabbath.]
I mentioned in the last post the need to consider a couple of meta dimensions of the sabbath. This is the second one: preparation.
Modern advocates often forget this practical, necessary aspect of sabbath observance. People talk about the day itself, as we have, but fail to consider that one of the keys to sabbath observance begins the day before.
You must get ready to sabbath.
In the Bible, we bump into this necessity. Almost in passing, the various biblical writers mention “the day of preparation” (e.g., Luke 23:54) like surely everyone understands its meaning and need.
In our own practical calculations, we must remember the sabbath was a two-day affair. To have a good sabbath, you must have a good day of preparation.
If sabbath is stopping, you will find the braking must begin the day before.
In biblical times, this preparation was readying food. In our day, it may be timing email cycles to end the day before a sabbath. It may mean running to the grocery store or getting the lawn mowed.
Alternatively, for you, the preparation may be more mental. The Jewish Sabbath began in the evening, as the sun went down, and as candles were lit. This timing and ritual allowed and encouraged folks to ease into the Sabbath. For us, we may have to find other such ritualistic cues to transition our hearts and minds.
But the point is simply this: To have a sabbath, you must prepare to sabbath.