How to observe the Sabbath in the modern world

Bryant Golden Blog

If you’re one of the many people who grew up believing that the Sabbath means it’s time to go to church, raise your hand. You’re raising your hand right? Well, OK, we get that you might not actually want to raise your hand, especially if you’re reading this on your mobile device on the bus. Still, you understand what we’re talking about, right?

So many of us have been raised in a culture that views the Sabbath as a day of going to church and listening to the preacher and going out for lunch with everyone after. There is nothing wrong with any of this as a communal practice, but none of it is truly what the Sabbath is. Sabbath is not Sunday. It is not Saturday either. … It is not any predetermined day of the week. While the Israelites may have observed Sabbath on a determined day of the week, there is nothing in Scripture that means you have to observe your Sabbath on a particular day. What Scripture is clear about is that you need to find a day to rest and honor what God calls the Sabbath. 


Social media and smartphones occupy much of our attention. As soon as you feel a buzz or hear a ring, it’s hard to focus on anything else. We suggest unplugging from social media and your phone for the day. Turn off notifications from everything except for anything that would be too important to ignore, such as a parent who lives alone, etc.

Go outside

Whether you live in the country, suburbs or city, you should take time to get outside. Go for a run. Try hiking. Ride a bike. Or simply go to a park, lay out a blanket and sit in the sunlight. 


Take time to journal your thoughts and experiences on your Sabbath day. Make note of how you feel rested or how you have experienced God on this day. 

Pray and read Scripture

Take a moment to find a quiet space to read and pray. While it is not a requirement by any means to read the Bible, we encourage you to use this time to do so and grow closer to God or at least learn more about Him. After all, the Sabbath is His idea!

Enjoy time with your family

For some of us, we need some time away from other people to feel rested. But if you have a family that you don’t get to spend a lot of time with because of school, work or other obligations, maybe the Sabbath can be a day you set aside to do something all together.

Listen to Unfiltered Radio to discover what it’s like to try to be an authentic follower of Jesus in the modern world

At Unfiltered Radio, we’re all about exploring what it means to authentically follow Jesus and wrestle with the hard questions in life. Check out our podcast to listen to daily episodes about personal growth, spiritual growth and talking about hard questions about God.