Thanks for stopping by, whether you got here by a link or hitting "next blog" -- I am glad you are here. I've also done some writing on homeschooling, and what I learned thinking I was teaching.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Sabbath

How Christians keep the Sabbath holy is a continuing debate in some circles, albeit fewer and fewer.  We are many and varied in our obedience to it – the keeping of the Sabbath. .  When our states no longer enforced the outward rules protecting the Sabbath – giving citizens one day in seven to recover from life -- many of us relaxed a few of our habits too.  Keeping the Sabbath holy is a commandment I keep imperfectly. Sadly, it is an indicator of how well I obey the other nine.  

Christ said the Sabbath is a gift – Mark 2:27. How I use these 24 hours shows me how trusting I am of God to be sufficient. So, an article on the Huffington Post by Alison Cayne drew me [again] into a reflection on how I spend this one day of the week – although the point of the piece was not worship. The author was describing the value of there are in acknowledging and promoting limits in life and childrearing:  

Rabbi Sacks said Sabbaths, "are to time what parks are to space: something precious that we share on equal terms and that none of us could create or possess on our own."

Resting in an ancient agrarian society was a limitation with consequences; it was an act of faith that’s hard to appreciate for one accustomed to leisure and convenience. Setting one day aside so that I may enjoy God, and do nothing that will distract others from thinking about God, and all the great things HE did – and does, is hard work – especially for when others with whom we live look forward to eating.

Growing up when the Blue Laws limited activities, I thought Sundays were a drag – more evidence that a divine despot who despised pleasure ruled the universe.  Isaiah and other prophets helped me see the divinely appointed day of rest differently: Keeping the Sabbath is a heart matter – not a rule matter.

13-14 “If you watch your step on the Sabbath
    and don’t use my holy day for personal advantage,
If you treat the Sabbath as a day of joy,
    God’s holy day as a celebration,
If you honor it by refusing ‘business as usual,’
    making money, running here and there—
Then you’ll be free to enjoy God! . . . (Isaiah 58:13-14 The Message)

Six days of the week, I can do all my work; one day of the week, God invites me to spend in His company. It’s a limitation for sure – but it is the theme verse of my life; it is a reminder that all I enjoy – LIFE - is a gift, something precious that we share on equal terms and that none of us could create or possess on our own."



Flo said...

Refreshing to cast a watchful eye at the way I spend the Sabbath. Today we worshiped with Vickie and DeWayne at Redeemer PCA here in Augusta. Tonight, after a much-needed afternoon nap,I watched Vickie fix a lovely meal for us, as well as for Barb, Jenna and Leah Stephan. Classical music background and sound, uplifting comments about books we're currently reading and recommending. Truly a Sabbath rest.

bwsmith said...

Sounds splendid . . . :0)