Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Sabbath Part 1
My Sunday School class has been reading through the book, An Altar in the World. The premise is that sometimes we are too focused on finding God in a church or other religious settings. Instead, we can connect with God in the world He created and as we interact with others whom He made in His image. It has led to some interesting discussions as we have talked about chapters like "The Practice of Waking Up to God" and "The Practice of Encountering Others."
The chapter I have been dealing with this week is "The Practice of Saying No." The main topic is the Sabbath. I plan to spend this week - Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday - blogging about some of her statements from the book and how I am processing them.
I tend to think of Sunday as the Sabbath, though I know that in the Jewish system, it runs from Friday evening to Saturday evening. Our Sundays tend to involve Sunday School and a church service and hanging out at home. While we are home, I am often trying to squeeze in whatever chores didn't get done during the week, although I prefer to use it for just reading and resting (and watching football in the fall). I know I need to rest, and I know how I feel when I set my to do list aside for awhile and just "exist." But I am inconsistent in my observance of a true Sabbath.
I tried to Sabbath this past Sunday. I think I did okay. After church I read, napped, watched football and hung out with the fam. I tried to avoid anything I thought was work - reading about writing, actual writing, working on my to do list for the coming week, blogging notes, etc.
Mrs. Taylor writes [with some paraphrase from me]:
[It is interesting - alarming - convicting to think that we] put "Thou shalt not do any work" in a different category from "Thou shalt not kill..." especially since those teachings are on the same list.... There is no saying yes to God without saying no to God's rivals. No, I will not earn my way today. No, I will not make anyone else work either. No, I will not worry about my life...."
I have been challenged by this thought that we put the observation of the Sabbath in another category from the other commandments, as if the Sabbath is more optional or open to personal interpretation.
So, here are some questions for thought and comment. How do you observe the Sabbath? When do you observe it? What do you think about this idea that it requires the same attention and adherence as the other commandments? Does your life reflect your beliefs?