A HAPPY DAY
WHILE TOURING ISRAEL a few years ago, I listened to our guide explain that early Jewish families went to great lengths to lead their children to love God, assuring them that God loved them too (Deuteronomy 6:5-7). One of the things they taught their children was the happiness of the Sabbath, because the Sabbath points to a loving God who gave them the gift of the seventh day each week.
For those of us who know what the future holds for Sabbath keepers, this cannot be stressed enough! It is of utmost importance that our children learn to love the Sabbath. 2 Thessalonians 2:10 says that people perish “because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” Notice that it doesn’t say people didn’t know the truth, but they didn’t have the love of the truth. We might easily give up certain things when we are under duress, but the things we love we will cling to and never let go.
How can we make the Sabbath a “delight” for young children (Isaiah 58:10-14)? It involves planning ahead to keep Sabbath not only in their minds but also in their hearts so they will love that happy day.
When my brother and I were kids, our parents took us with them to visit shut-in people on Sabbath afternoons. We recited our memory verses, sang songs, and gave them a picture we had drawn or colored. Then we were allowed to go out to the yard and play while our parents continued to visit with the people.
On Sabbath afternoons my brother and I loved to plan a Sabbath School program for our dolls and teddy bears while Mom and Dad took a nap. We based our plans on the things we had seen in Sabbath School, plus a few other “wonderful ideas” we came up with. When the folks woke up, they were our audience. We thought our programs were positively fantastic!
My grandchildren liked to sit on the floor while we all sang “O what a wonderful day it will be. Jesus is coming again!” Two people held a white sheet over the kids (the clouds of Jesus’ coming), lifting it up and down, fluttering it over them. The children laughed and clapped their hands as the “cloud” billowed around them.
Making Sabbath the happiest day of the week will help children love the Sabbath. Then when Jesus returns we may be able to say to Him, “Here am I, and the children the Lord has given me” (Isaiah 8:18, NIV).