There are many different views on the practice of Shabbat (the Sabbath) amongst Messianic Jews and Christians.
Israel Today posed the following question to believers who live in the Land of Israel: How do you and your congregation observe the Sabbath? Here is how they responded:
Jerusalem congregational leader – anonymous
Most people in our congregation enjoy and appreciate the gift and the traditions of the Sabbath. This is carried out with a festive meal, traditional prayers, and candle lighting on Friday night with family and guests at home.
On the morning of the Sabbath we worship using the Siddur [Jewish prayer book] and read the Torah, Haftorah [passage from the Prophets], and New Testament portions of the week. Most of us live a lifestyle which honors and appreciates Jewish tradition but we do not claim to live strictly Orthodox lifestyles. Everyone in the congregation has to make their own decision as to how much of a traditional lifestyle they want to lead.”
Eddie Santoro – Messianic leader in a Jerusalem congregation
Life in Israel is very frenetic and we love the transformation that occurs Friday afternoon as the Sabbath approaches; the stores close, people return home to be with their families, and a blessed quiet descends upon Israel. The nation stops to honor God’s commandment.
Our congregation meets on Friday afternoon which enables us to welcome the Sabbath corporately. After the meeting, my wife and I host a traditional Erev Shabbat [Sabbath eve] dinner with family and friends.
On Saturday we devote the day to resting and often invite friends to join us for dinner. For us the Sabbath is a blessed gift from God. It gives us an opportunity each week to stop and enjoy the presence of the Lord together with those whom we love.
Source: Israel Today
I am one of those Christians who like to observe the Sabbath on Friday evening, together with both Jews and Christian Friends of Israel.
I have experienced Sabbath in Israel, and its a wonderful time of silence in society, and family gatherings.
It was like this in Norway, 30 years ago. The shops closed at 1.PM on Saturdays, and did not reopen before Monday morning.
I join Christian fellowships on Sunday, the Lord’s day. But I do not like to name the day of rest, after the sun, a pagan god.
The Idea of the Sabbath, is to get people to rest from their work, and spend some quality time together honoring a Holy God. Jesus the Messiah told us plainly that He demands justice and mercy, and it is permitted to do good on the Sabbath. A strict observance of the sabbath full a man made rules, is not what He desires.
Then Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”
The problem in the West, is that the Post-Christian secular socially has deleted the weekend rest. People work on all kids of days, and hardly read the Bible or join Christian fellowships. Neither on Friday, nor on Sunday.
That is wrong, and that will not pay off for eternity. Cheep grace, is false grace. The fear of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit is the start of wisdom.
Written by Ivar