Everybody’s working on the weekend.

I look forward to the weekends. My days off. Time I can structure to my liking.

But just like most working Americans, I find that my weekends are rarely leisurely. And I don’t have children. (How do you parents do it?)

There’s laundry, yard work, that personal finance course I’m taking – all nine weeks of it. There’s housework.

And there is always, always e-mail. Each weekend, I use anywhere from 1 to 3 hours reading, sorting and weighing e-mail just for work.

What if I decided to take one whole day as an actual sabbath? Practicing Jews and Christians are acquainted with the weekly exercise of setting aside one day for rest, for fellowship and for community. God rested on the seventh day, the biblical day after the earth was created. For centuries, Jews and Christians have followed that example, and spent their sabbath at rest, at play and perhaps with a feast day with friends.

It’s an easy bet that even practicing Jews and Christians want to set aside work on their sabbath days, but have a difficult time doing it. Plenty of observant Jews work on Saturday, and at the end of Sunday worship at my church, a fair few of us are talking about work we’ll be doing later that day. As professional demands creep into our “spare” time more and more, the need for rest — physically and psychologically — intensifies. We all need a sabbath, whether we use it to reach out to a creator or not.

How would I spend my sabbath day if I really observed it in its orthodox context?

I’d wake up rested but early enough to read scripture in preparation for worship. I’d have a large cup of frothy coffee. I’d bathe, dress and drive to church for worship. I’d find my seat about 10 minutes before the introit (that’s the opening of the worship liturgy for those who don’t “do church” the way I do) maybe close my eyes and “breathe peace.” For me, that means breathing slowly and deliberately. Then, I’d worship with my church family, being open not just to the gospel and the message in the sermon, but being open to my family members in the pews – listening for their need for touch, talk and encouragement.

I’d spend the rest of the day listening to music while preparing a homemade dinner. This would be work for some people, I know. But for me, it would be an act of love and nurturing. I’d prepare the table, and call Wondertrickster and our best friends to the table. We’d laugh, talk and savor our food. After that, Wondertrickster would join me in an early evening walk with the mutts. We wouldn’t have to talk. Then, we’d come home, watch The Walking Dead and finally go to bed.

Oh, I almost forgot one important thing: Someone other than me would do the dishes and clean the kitchen.

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