Thursday, March 19, 2020

Sabbath-keeping

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Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude. 
 And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, 
and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done.
  So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, 
because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation.

                                            Genesis 2:1-3

I have a raft of books on the biblical concept -- commandment actually -- of sabbath-keeping. It's rather simply and yet complex. Cease and desist from the activities of daily living for one of the seven days of each week. On that day, acknowledge the God who created you and who, according to the book of Genesis, observed a day of rest to enjoy the glorious work of bringing all life into being. 

While this is the lengthiest and most detailed of the Ten Commandments it is the one we 21st century Christians read with our fingers crossed. Not only do we work and play almost frantically, we have our little erroneously titled "smart phones" to aid and abet in stupid choices to be relentlessly connected to...what is that we are connecting to? 

Someone near and dear to our hearts is working from home during this unsettling COVID-19 time. She works for a large corporation in Toronto and regularly puts in weeks of 50 to 60 hours. A former boss would regularly contact her on weekends with work related questions and demands, even though this is supposedly against company policy.

A few days into self-isolation she wonders whether many people are assessing whether the relentless pace of work, along with the expectations of home life, are actually "abundant living" (my term, not hers.) What are we doing with this precious life we have been given?

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It's strange that so many people either dismiss or mock what is viewed as an antiquated notion of sabbath. Who could live that way?  Who has the right to impose taking a whole day every week for reflection, recovery, self-care, appreciation of beauty...wait a minute, what is the downside of this? Isn't it a form of hubris to act as though the world will come to an end if we aren't going full-tilt, all the time? 

I applaud the measures our federal and provincial governments are taking to address COVID-19 and for businesses and other employees who are finding alternative approaches to doing their work. I pray that the threat of a pandemic passes quickly.

Perhaps we will also realize that not observing sabbath is an existential threat as well. Could this push our societal reset button? Not likely, but I live in hope!

Thanks to my faithful Lion Lamb blog readers. Do you took a look at my Groundling, Creation-honouring blog as well? It's only a click away!

https://groundlingearthyheavenly.blogspot.com/2020/03/ill-winds-and-glimpses-of-good.html


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