Sunday, April 25, 2004

Happy Sabbath!

I was reading Brennan Manning this morning, and he was talking about what the Sabbath meant throughout the Bible. Yes, originally it was set aside because God rested on the 7th day after creating the world. On through the Old Testament though, it became about worshipping God, acknowledging His sovereignty. By Jesus' time the primary purpose of the Sabbath was to worship and the secondary purpose was to rest from work. Jesus scorned the Pharisees for not getting this...for following the appearance of the law but not the heart of it. The New Testament brings the advent of the Sunday Sabbath.

I don't know how Biblical it is, but I have always been struck by the grace of our Sunday Sabbath. In simple terms what I mean is this - God rested on the 7th day (Saturday) after he had worked. We celebrate a Sunday Sabbath, which means we get to rest on the 1st day (of the week) prior to starting our work again for the week. For me that's always seemed to be a particularly special mercy!

Of course, the irony of where the day falls in our week doesn't quite apply for all...Les (my debonair husband:) is at work right now as I type this (Sunday morning). He works in health care and as such has varied shifts and often works weekends. I think we all can be grateful for those who do jobs such as his. Jesus talked about the acceptability of meeting needs even on the Sabbath. For Les, his Sabbath comes when he worships may be a day off or it maybe a worship service (like the one we attended last night - it was awesome!) or it might be when he plays his guitar. I think the essence of the Sabbath is to worship God (and there a many forms) and to just BE.

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