Sunday, November 16, 2014

Remembering The Sabbath

Exodus 20:1-17 gives us the infamous Ten Commandments. Perhaps, like me, you had to memorize them in grade school or CCD. Not sure how many can recite them all, but certainly grilled into us growing up was # 3 (actually #4 in some Christian communities):  “Remember the Sabbath day – keep it holy.”  Interestingly all of the other nine Commandments are given only one verse – but there must have been a high degree of importance on this one as it takes four full verses to explain what it means to keep the Sabbath holy:

“Remember the sabbath day—keep it holy. Six days you may labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God. You shall not do any work, either you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your work animal, or the resident alien within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the LORD has blessed the sabbath day and made it holy”

Unfortunately, over the years, this has been taught to mean: You have to come to Church every Sunday…or else.  And while I am all for the importance of community prayer each week, Church attendance it is certainly not critical for salvation (but that is a blog for another day).  But “remembering the Sabbath”….well that could change your life.

And while I do not have any slaves or work animals or resident aliens living with me, I do have my cell phone, Ipad, laptop, Surface 3, 5 Facebook pages, 2 websites, 2 companies and this blog – all to keep me occupied…all to keep me away from finding sabbath time…all from keeping me quiet and still to hear God’s voice.

I actually blogged about this topic just about a year ago.  At that time I made some brief headway into holding Sabbath somewhat sacred, but it slipped away.  It is difficult for us who have to work weekends at Church, to find another day of the week that we can hold the sacred sabbath.

But that is what Teresa and I will begin doing again on Monday.  Nothing daring like a weekly sabbath (at least not yet), but by beginning a couple times a month to shut down the electronics and the outside world in order to honor the ‘seventh day’ to rest, to listen and to be still.

And that actually sounds….delightful.

Interested in more reflection on the Sabbath?  See this piece by our friend Mirabai Starr.

No comments: