Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Sabbath Disconnect, Part 2

My last blurb got a good reaction from several members and so I want to follow what I said about our Sundays not being “sabbathy” enough.

First, I’m not digging too deep into the theology of Sabbaths vs. Christian Sundays. I have no problem with saying “we are Easter people.” Even our Advent, Christmas and Epiphany observances and celebrations need the Resurrection to be properly explained. Simply, we are resurrection people and that is the argument FOR “getting up to celebrate on Sunday mornings.” Think Easter sunrise service. I don’t believe we need to move away from that recognition and practice.

Second, I am hoping to find a way for those of us who struggle to worship on Sunday mornings to be connected and supported in our spiritual self-care. I want there to be a clearer and measurable link for us to understand that inclusion in this community.

Third, I do think we need to see the “value of sabbathing” as a cultural necessity not just a personal spiritual undertaking. Forgive the butchered terminology but by “value of sabbathing” I mean the increased appreciation and benefits we receive when we all purposefully step away and rest from our work or labor.

It is one of the Ten Commandments and it has implications for all humanity. My favorite Old Testament scholar, Walter Brueggemann has argued the “Sabbath commandment is drawn into the exodus narrative, for the God who rests is the God who emancipates from slavery and consequently from the work system of Egypt.” (Sabbath as Resistance, Louisville, KY: Westminster-John Knox Press, 2014. Kindle file)

It is the whole world’s problem but this relates directly to our lives of busy-ness and “works righteousness.” We are the ones who will be satisfied only when our work sets us free. We are the ones who blame the poor for their poverty. We are the ones who dream of risk free investment ventures. We are the ones who cry to the other God of “certainty” for our markets. We are the ones whose financial computers are never turned off.

Maybe that is why it is hard for so many of us to make the Sabbaths we should; to take the rest we need, to be silent before the God who loves us beyond our (y)earning. It took an exodus of a whole nation to establish the Sabbath God commanded. All I’m asking is that we talk about how to connect to those of us whose lives have no Sabbaths other than the ones they find on their own away from us on Sunday morning.

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