Scott Wegener is a Seventh-day Adventist living in Melbourne, Australia. Wegener is a creative writer who, among other projects, helps run sabbathideas.org, a site intended “to help those who want to keep the Sabbath out of love for God and make it a special day that differs from the rest of the ‘working’ week.” Below he shares ten ideas to make Sabbath afternoons more enjoyable.—Editors
Post on your favored social media platform or send a personalized message to a family member, friend, or colleague—Christian or not—and ask if there is anything you can pray over for them. It’s a great way to connect with those around you—and you may be surprised at who is open.
Pick a very specific object. The object must be in a Bible story, specifically mentioned or not, or found in God’s creation; and it must be an item that everyone would have heard of. For example, it could be the lock on John the Baptist’s jail cell—it’s not mentioned specifically, but you assume it would be there. Then everyone must only ask yes or no questions to try to figure out what you’ve chosen. You’ll be surprised what people can guess entirely from yes or no questions.
Go out geocaching in God’s creation with your family and friends. This worldwide treasure hunt will lead you to amazing places and facilitate comradery while you get out and about with family and friends. See the geocaching.com site.
Many beautiful and detailed “grown-up” coloring books are available—of nature and even Bible themes. They are perfect for a relaxing Sabbath afternoon with some good music playing and chatting with friends.
Compile your very own “The Ten” from different nature or biblical categories. Try listing others’ top choices and see how many you get right. Categories can include fruits, vegetables, birds, mammals, sea creatures, trees, flowers, instruments, hymns, national parks, Bible books or stories, Bible verses, and Jesus’ miracles. Need more? List every created plant and animal you can think of. Even more? See how many you can take a photo of and catalog them.
If you haven’t for some time, take a look at your old family photos and videos together, telling the stories around each scene. Maybe your kids have never seen them. If there are people in them whom you haven’t seen for a long time, make contact with them and arrange to catch up.
Either through painting, drawing, sculpture, Lego block building, animation, drama, poetry, song, diary entry, shadow pictures, origami, veggie platter, and so on, make a scene from the Bible.
Study a Bible text or passage using SOAP. Read a verse or passage and then:
S (Subjective)—write how it makes you feel.
O (Objective)—write something factual.
A (Apply)—write how you could apply the verse to your life.
P (Pray)—write a prayer to God based on the verse.
Got a fruit tree, vegetable garden, or flowers in your yard? Select some produce or flowers and deliver them to your neighbors. Offer to help with something. Plan on some news to share while you’re there such as what you enjoyed at church that morning, and have some questions to ask them to spark further conversation to help build the friendship. Alternatively, call or visit a person who lives on their own or has been unwell.
Put some meals together or prepare a backpack with simple comforts and hand them out to some homeless in your city. Then spend some time with them. Ask them about their story, their dreams, their fears. Pray for them before you leave, as well as before and after you visit them.