Tyler Hanns

Sabbath: Part 7

Tyler Hanns
Sabbath: Part 7

Seasons of Life

By Bethany Allen & Gavin Bennett

Begin with prayer (5 minutes)

Gather together as a Community in a comfortable setting (around a table, on the couch, the floor of a living room, etc.). Have somebody lead a prayer asking the Holy Spirit to lead and guide your time together.

Debrief the last few weeks’ Practice in triads (5–10 minutes)

If you are in a Community of seven or more, consider dividing into small groups of 3–4 people each (ideally same gender).

Spend a few minutes catching up on life. Then talk through the following debrief questions:

1. Were you able to set aside time this week to practice cultivating intimacy with God? What did that look like?

2. If you tried implementing one of the suggested rhythms, how did it go? In what ways did it impact your connection/communion with God throughout the week?

Read this Overview

When it comes to the Practice of Sabbath there is no perfect formula. Sabbath will demand varying rhythms, times, and implementation for each person — and will likely change as you move through life. No doubt, young families will inevitably enter into this Practice differently than those with teenagers. Single people will incorporate and practice rhythms of connection and intimacy that may differ from those who are married. Retired, empty-nesters, will get to explore and experiment with greater freedom than those who are working 40+ hours a week. With the ever-changing seasons and stages of life before us, flexibility, patience, and grace are key.

As apprentices of Jesus, we each have the responsibility and the gift to steward the life that we have been given. We cannot use our stage and season of life to avoid this gracious invitation into Sabbath rest. We must push past the path of least resistance and, instead, embrace the way of Jesus that demands faithfulness in and out of season, trusting that there will be a return on the sown in faith.

In the Practice of Sabbath, each of us has the opportunity to lay a foundation in the story of our lives that is rooted in rest, limits, and communion with God.

Work through these discussion questions (20–30 minutes)

1. How would you describe your season or stage of life with God?

2. What are your hurdles in this season? In your stage of life?

3. What are two things you already know you’d like to implement?

Discuss the Coming Week’s Practice (5–10 minutes)

Below you’ll find a list of best practices for Sabbath based on various seasons or stages of life. Take a minute to look through the list and identify which season you most relate to. Keep in mind that the following lists do not contain prescriptive Practices – they are simply suggestions from our church community.

Young Families

- Put together a box of special toys with your kids, that they get to play with on the Sabbath

- Plan a special meal (like a pancake breakfast) or dessert (like donuts and ice cream)

- Read a story from the Bible (e.g. from the Jesus Storybook Bible, Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing, or The Big God Story)

- Take a walk in your neighborhood or to the park

- Watch or go see a movie together

- Go to the zoo or the Children’s Museum

- Commit to not doing chores

- Parents: Let the kids take a nap or watch a movie while you take a nap or have sex.

- Parents: Take turns taking time doing your own thing

- Single Parents: See if someone in your Community is willing to hang out with your kids for a bit, so you can have some time alone.

Single People

- Listen to worship music

- Spend time with Jesus in meditative, listening, or contemplative prayer

- Read the Bible, poetry, or a book of blessing

- Read (fiction or non-fiction)

- Meet up with a friend for coffee or tea

- Watch or go see a movie

- Explore a museum or art gallery

- Go for a hike (bring a friend)

- Have a nice meal with friends

- Take a nap

- Make art

Married Couples (without kids)

- Make a meal together or go out

- Take a walk

- Have sex

- Read the Bible and pray together

- Get a couples massage

- Watch or go see a movie together

- Go for drive

- Go for a hike

- Hang out with friends

- Take a nap

Parents with Teenagers

- Sleep in (and let them sleep in)

- Limit the amount of screen time (in conjunction with your teens)

- Watch or go see a movie together

- Explore your teens hobbies with them

- Ask an intentional set questions like:

- What was the hardest part of your week?

- What was the best part of your week?

- Where did you see God this week?

- What do you need from this day?

- Plan and make their favorite meal or dessert together

- Invite their friends over to play (hang out) and participate in part of your Sabbath or let them hang out with their friends for a set amount of time.

Empty Nesters

- Have and host an intentional family dinner (if family is not close by, then invite friends, neighbors, etc..)

- Have sex

- Take a nap

- Explore your spouses hobbies

- Find a hobby to do together. (e.g. cooking, pottery, yoga, watercolor, art museums, etc.)

- Go to the coast

- Read the Bible and pray together

Work through these discussion questions before you call it a night (5–10 minutes)

1. After reading this list, what do you want to try?

2. Since the lists above are not exhaustive, what other ideas can your Community come up with?

3. What can you celebrate and be grateful for in your current season of life?

Close in prayer (5 minutes)