Sunday, October 11, 2009

An attempt at Sabbath keeping....

It's been weeks since I have really rested. Work has been brutal, with it's long hours and unforeseen challenges. I promised myself a respite of sorts from all that has to do with work. I have longed for this day of retreat, a day of thankfulness and regeneration.

God says to me, "Enter my rest."

I got up early and went to a morning service at the church my parents attend regularly. The message title was "How needed is the Holy Spirit?" I was wondering how the Dallas Theological, Mdiv. would field this question. In this case, Pastor Jesse was not a disappointment. He is a young, passionate, Spirit empowered man, whom I also find to be gentle and humble.

God says to me, "Enter my rest."

I tried going outside on our back deck to enjoy the warmth of sunshine, but in spite of it being sunny, it's a blustery day. It was peaceful though, as I shared the moment with our cat at my feet. Just when I began noticing the clean smell of the breezes, I had a gnawing thought that I should be outside mowing down the weeds, that have taken over, what once was a well-groomed lawn. My wife knows me well and poked her head out the door and said, "If you are thinking thoughtful thoughts that's good, but if you're thinking about mowing the lawn come inside at once."

God says to me, "Enter my rest."

To attempt a complete day of ceasing from work does not mean that work is wrong. Marva Dawn insists that our work is worship when we do it to the glory of God, but that Sabbath keeping is about "the rhythm of the worshipful life, alternating between regular days of work and a special day of ceasing, resting, embracing, and feasting." Eugene Peterson has said, that the Sabbath is set apart to "pray and play" or was it "play and pray?" The order probably makes no difference in God's economy.

God says to me, "Enter my rest."

Blessed art thou, O Lord God, King of the universe, who hast sanctified us by Thy commandments, and commanded us to kindle the Sabbath lights. May the Sabbath-light which illumines our dwelling cause peace and happiness to shine in our home. Bless us, O God, on this holy Sabbath, and cause Thy divine glory to shine upon us. Enlighten our darkness and guide us and all mankind, Thy children, towards truth and eternal light. Amen

––opening prayer of the traditional home service for Sabbath eve

2 comments:

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