Last week we gathered round the table & we prayed in (and folks kept on joining — praise God — come one come all!!!).
Our check-in was answering (one or both…) of the questions about what the Bible says about Sabbath and also what scripture(s) has been most formative in shaping your/our understanding about Sabbath (what it is/do we need to observe it, etc.).
(Surprise surprise….just kidding — total sarcasm — it wasn’t surprising! It was blessing!) Different scriptures were named…Luke (the Mary/Martha text); Mark 2:27; Exodus (the commandments); Matthew 12; Psalm 92; John 5:17; Acts 20:7; and 1 Corinthians 16:2. Engaging thoughts of the Sabbath is a gift for us, considering when Sabbath is to be (Fri/Sat, or Sun?), even muddying the understanding of if we can ignore the Sabbath because Jesus seemed to do so…but then too coming back to the example that God gave, creating and then resting (and we all seemed to think that God doesn’t really need rest…as God). Brought up in this conversation too was how in the example of the commandments there are different reasons as to why to remember/observe the Sabbath because God created & then rested — and/or — because God is the deliverer out of slavery (Egypt — us all now from sin)!
AND this all (as thanks be to the Holy Spirit & grace!) led into the Scripture we held together, Deuteronomy 5:12-15:
12 “Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the Lord your God has commanded you. 13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 14 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your ox, your donkey or any of your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns, so that your male and female servants may rest, as you do. 15 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.New International Version
Now….we did see what the Holy Spirit was making bubble up….BUT today (as promised) I am sharing an excerpt from an article I was reading last week which I think speaks DIRECTLY to the conversation we are holding…
“… It may help to be reminded that Sabbath keeping was not only about a day of the week. It was a principle in the ordering of time itself, extending outward to the seventh year, when debts were to be forgiven and the land allowed to rest. It extended even further to the jubilee, or 50th, year, when all people were to be freed and ancestral land holdings were to be restored.Original article in Mar/Apr 2016 of Presbyterians Today: posted on Mar. 31, 2016 by Kris Haig (LINK)
Perhaps most importantly, the Scriptures teach us that Sabbath keeping is a community practice and not simply a matter of personal piety. The cultural forces of our time would have us believe that our happiness lies in a lifestyle of constant work and “productivity,” punctuated by frequent binges of shopping. The Bible says otherwise: that our true happiness comes only from God and with God. Therefore let us as faith communities pledge to support one another in our commitment to “remember the Sabbath” and to rest in our Savior who is himself the Lord of the Sabbath. …”
So…as we continue the conversations we have been having, what the Bible has to say, the scripture(s) which have been most formative for us (& others) & even the passage above….I wonder (AND the homework is) what y’all’s answer to the following is?
- Think about ….How do you plan to keep Sabbath? (aka — what (exactly?) do you do you prepare to stop?)
As ALWAYS — looking forward to the wisdom that will gather when we next gather round the table.
In Christ ~
Rev. Sabrina Slater