If you have not read the previous posts on this subject, I would highly recommend doing so first to better understand the content of this next section.
What we are trying to accomplish in this section is creating an environment where long swaths of time can occur so true bonding can take place in a biblical community. We are breaking down the Genesis model of the Friday to Saturday sunset period of time, practiced for generations by the Hebrews and early church. Earlier posts discussed how time is managed in the western culture in regards to a 24 hour day.
Let’s reverse the scenario of the Saturday to Sunday 24 hour period to a Friday to Saturday period.
Let’s see if this will create the necessary time needed for deep bonding to take place. We can probably say with certainty that sunset is a good choice for the start of the 24 hour cycle. Even today, Friday evening is practiced as the start of the 24 hour day set aside in the book of Genesis.
Friday sunset – The beginning of the 24 hour period. I like to call it – The Day of Eternity.
This an example of what it can look like. Picture this:
We come home from work Friday. At sunset, we sit down to a ready made dinner with family and friends. All electronic devices are turned off. Everyone eats, drinks, sings songs, dance, play games, study the scriptures, and relax late into the night. You have no where to go tomorrow, so why not kick back and enjoy yourself? Friday night, everyone is home together. No distractions. There is plenty of time to bond.
The foundation of society is the family. The whole family. The Creator, loved ones, and close friends. When it’s bonds are strong, a long lasting biblical community emerges. It is the first step of the 24 hour cycle. It is when time stops, and stress begins to be released. The fun is just beginning and it’s still only Friday night.
It is also the time when our Creator gets to be with us, his family, like he was with Adam when they walked in the garden, side by side. This is the time he can bond with us and and we with him.
Saturday – The Grand Finale
You’ve slept in, had a light, ready made breakfast of fruit, breads, and juices, and cuddled your wife, kids, or pets. Maybe a friend stayed the night. It’s officially vacation time. No chores, no grocery shopping, and no home improvement projects. There is anticipation in the air because something exciting is about to happen. The gathering of other believers. A celebration marking the end of the 24 hour period. Just like at home, there will be dancing, singing, eating and drinking, playing games, and studying the scriptures. You can start in the afternoon and go till evening. Imagine being arm in arm together with the whole gathering as we close out the day and bring in the new week.
As you head home, you feel energetic and stress free. Some options might be to stop at the grocery store or fuel up the car. There will be plenty of time to get to bed early if needed and wake up refreshed on Sunday. A warning though. I have seen celebrations go until midnight with few wanting to go home. Deep bonds are made and reinforced. Like a moment in eternity. It is an amazing time.
It is hard to let go for 24 hours to relax and celebrate. We are not used to it. Once the habit is formed, you will so look forward to it every week. It has the same effect as going on a weeks’ vacation. The experience gives us an incentive to better manage our time and activities during the week. We will also become more productive. There are other benefits as well, but we don’t have the time here to go deeper into it. Family and friendships will grow stronger, and best of all, our spiritual walk will go to a new level that is indescribable.
It seems this scenario solves the large swath of time aspect of creating the bonds necessary for true fellowship. We should not be surprised by that. After all, it was set up by our heavenly Father for himself and his family to be together.
This is big. It is, after all, the thing we all desire. To be truly connected, to love and be loved, and to celebrate and be celebrated in a way few experience. There is nothing like it.
I thought I would leave you with these videos so you can get a flavor of ways to start this 24 hour period. Be creative and have fun with it. I like to call it the Day of Eternity. The Jewish community calls it Shabbat. In the west it is referred to as the Sabbath, and my friends call it God’s Party Day. Grover from Shalom Sesame Street in Israel even gets involved.
“In modern America, we take the five-day work-week so much for granted that we forget what a radical concept a day of rest was in ancient times. The weekly day of rest has no parallel in any other ancient civilization. In ancient times, leisure was for the wealthy and the ruling classes only, never for the serving or laboring classes. In addition, the very idea of rest each week was unimaginable.”
Note: If there are those that want to have theological debates about the Sabbath, that is not what this section is about. The Fellowship Project is about creating long lasting biblical communities and fellowships in new and fresh ways. We can learn a great deal from others. Be creative and have fun.