Mark 15:42, “This all happened on Friday, the day of Preparation, the day before the Sabbath.”
Did you know that there is actually a day that is called the day of Preparation? Most versions of the Bible translate Preparation with a capital P. It is a significant day. An important day.
The day of Preparation is the day before the Sabbath, the rest day. In the very beginning of time, God established the principle of a day of rest. It is His gift to us. But, as with many of God’s gifts, we often do not realize their importance, or even their blessing. I have to confess, especially being a workaholic, that although I have always known the principle of the day of rest, I have not always been successful in doing it.
How do you have a day of rest? There’s still so much to do. The meals have to be cooked. The house has to be cleaned. This and that has to be done. But God never tells us to do something without giving us a way of doing it. Here it is:
You cannot enjoy a day of rest, unless you have a day of Preparation the day before!
What a liberating principle! I stumbled on it a number of years ago when I started having a Shabbat meal every Friday evening. The word Shabbat is the Hebrew word for Sabbath, which means rest. We do not do the Shabbat meal because we are Jewish, or even because we are trying to be Jewish, although we love the Jewish people and love to celebrate the Feasts of the Lord. We enjoy Shabbat because it is the most beautiful family meal you could ever enjoy. Perhaps I’ll tell you more about it next week. In order to prepare for this meal, I not only clean the house, but do the extra cleaning (such as clean the dirty spots off the carpet, wipe spots of the doors, disinfect the door handles), and prepare the special meal.
However, when I read this verse and saw that it was a Scriptural principle, I now do it with more meaning and more gusto. It is my day of extra cleaning. I not only prepare the meal for Shabbat, but prepare extra food to last over the weekend and for our rest day.
Dear mother, would you like to try? You will be amazingly blessed. It is your stress reliever, and every mother needs a stress reliever. The day of Preparation will relieve you from stress…
1. Because you will actually end up having a day of rest. Because you have worked hard the day before, cleaning and cooking, you will be able to rest from these chores on your rest day.
2. Because at least once a week you will enjoy a sparkling clean home. This will certainly give you a restful feeling.
Now, when I talk about a day of rest, it doesn’t matter whether you make Saturday or Sunday your day of rest. Years ago, the Christians looked upon Sunday as their Sabbath in the same way that Jews look upon Saturday. I myself what brought up this way. We never bought from a shop on Sunday. We cleaned and cooked on Saturday to prepare for Sunday. Sadly, God’s people of today have lost something very special that God has given. They miss out on His gift and reap the consequences – lives filled with stress.
God’s rest day, is a DAY of rest, not just a couple of hours. (Exodus 35:2) Many Christians give God a couple of hours when they go to church, and then off they go to ball games, movies or whatever they want to do.
I also think that it would make an amazing difference in preparing your children to be ready for Sunday if you were to follow the Preparation day, don’t you. I’d love to share with you this quote from the lives of Jonathan and Sarah Edwards. It is from Married to a Difficult Man (The uncommon union of Jonathan and Sarah Edwards) by Elizabeth D. Dodds.
“Perhaps the most fortunate feature in the development of the children was the sense of privilege they felt, as a minister’s family on the great occasion of Sunday. Puritans toiled hard all week, so they took seriously the admonition to rest on the Sabbath. After sundown on Saturday no one could work at all, except to brush sparks from the hearth. They couldn’t even make beds. So a Puritan housewife shined up her house on Saturday, and did a colossal baking. Then after three o’clock on Saturday afternoon, the mood of expectancy began to build up to the pivotal day. These people really believed that Sunday would bring an encounter with a living and dependable God who had brought them to the new land and watched over their effort to build His holy commonwealth.
While a large roast cooked all day, to ensure cold meat for Sunday, a great copper tub before the fire held water which was being warmed for baths. Shoes were shined, clothes laid out for the next day, and “modest pieces” ironed. (These were inserts of lace or velvet that were tucked into the neckline of a Sunday dress.) Father abstracted, would be finishing his two sermons for the next day. Then on Saturday night the family sang a psalm together, had prayers and went upstairs to bed with a sense of anticipating drama, as children now do only on Christmas Eve.” (My emphasis)
Let your children become part of God’s wonderful principles of a day of Preparation and then the day of Rest. Involve them in helping with the cleaning and cooking. Inspire in them an excitement as you prepare for your day of rest.
Next week I’ll tell you about the Shabbat meal that will bring wonderful blessings into your home.
Love from NANCY CAMPBELL
“Oh Lord, I thank you that you care about us so much. You want us to live lives of rest and peace and you have shown us the way to do it. Help me to get in line with you and do it your way. Amen.”
Preparation day is an important day in my home!
As you begin to put the Preparation day into operation in your home, I would love to hear how it works for you. Would you please email me? Thanks so much.