Sabbath has been on my mind. I’m not sure why certain topics or notions get stuck in my head but it happens all the time. I read something, someone makes a pausing comment. It’s irritating but interesting. In my journal (which is more of random ramblings mapping out my thoughts) I re-read a quote by Marva Dawn who said, “Sabbath ceasing means to cease not only from work itself, but also from the need to accomplish and be productive, from the worry and tension that accompany our modern criterion of efficiency, from our efforts to be in control of our lives as if we were God, from our possessiveness and our enculturation, and, finally, from the humdrum and meaninglessness that result when life is pursued without the Lord at the center of it all.” Sabbath becomes an oasis of calm; a time of stillness. As I sit in Sabbath all the goodness of life becomes more alive and more available to me. Sabbath is outward-focused on God, my family, friends and it is when I notice strangers. Theologian Walter Brueggemann writes, “Sabbath is an occasion for reimagining all of social life away from coercion and competition to compassionate solidarity. Such solidarity is imaginable and capable of performance only when the drivenness of materialism is broken. Sabbath is not simply the pause that refreshes. It is the pause which transforms.”
I’ve tarried with the thought how Sabbath draws me out of the ceaseless flow of the business or busyness of my life and helps me reorient my attention on the most important things in my life. Sabbath offers me a means of keeping the urgent from consistently trumping what I actually know as most important. Sabbath offers each of us a means to keep our work, in whatever form it takes, from trumping relationships. It offers the means to manage our daily routine and uneventful activities from trumping enjoyment. Sabbath counters our “drive to be more than we are, to control more than we do, to extend our power and effectiveness. It brings us back and teaches us to be more fully present where we are.” Sabbath involves two interrelated commandments: to remember and to observe.
Scripture Reading: Deuteronomy 5:12-14b
“Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the Lord your God has commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God.”
What helps you experience Sabbath?
How can the goodness of life become more alive to you?
What are the meaningless events that trump your joy?
Prayer: Holy God, lead me by the still waters so I can sit in your goodness. Let your presence be consistent in my coming and going and keep me focused on what matters to you. Amen.