Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Remember the Sabbath

We can see what Jesus meant by looking at the phrase:

"The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath" (Mark 2:27.

His point was that the Sabbath was made to serve people, instead of people being created to serve the Sabbath. The Sabbath was a servant, not a master. He was addressing the relative importance of the Sabbath, and how the Sabbath should be a day for both rest from the week's labor and service to others.

Sabbath can be a far-reaching revolutionary tool for cultivating those precious human qualities that grow only in time.

Remember the Sabbath means:
1. Remember that everything that you have received is a blessing from God.
2. Remember to delight in your life and in the fruits of your labor.
3. Remember to stop and offer thanks to God for all the good things in your life.
The Sabbath is not only for ourselves; rested and refreshed; we more generously serve all those who need our care. The human spirit is naturally generous; the instant we are filled, our first impulse is to be useful, to be kind, and to give something away.
The practice of Sabbath, is designed specifically to restore us, a gift of time in which we allow the cares and concerns of the marketplace to fall away. We set aside time to delight in being alive, to savor the gifts of all creation, and to give thanks to God for the blessings we may have missed in our necessary preoccupation with our work.
Honesty, courage, kindness, civility, wisdom, compassion – these can only be nourished in the soil of time and attention, and need experience and practice to come to harvest. These are not commodities that can be bought, sold, or invested. They cannot be manufactured, advertised, or marketed. Our core human values, the deepest and best of who we are, require the nourishment of time and care, if we are to grow and flourish.
What are some of the precepts that guide your life?
To follow Jesus?
To be kind?
To be grateful?
To be honest?
To serve your neighbor?
To help the earth?
To love children?
Make a list of principles that shape your days. Include those you currently follow and those you would like to follow. On Sabbath, take time to speak them aloud. Notice how you feel when you hear them. What resistance or relief arises? Notice how the memory of these spoken precepts resonates in your body throughout the day.
Love, too, requires rest: unstructured moments of intimate companionship, seeing, touching, and being with. Our presence and attention are the tangible manifestations of true love.

Sabbath is an incubator for wisdom. When we allow the rush and pressure of our days to fall away, even for a short period of time, we are more able to discern the essential truth of what lies before us.

Without stillness, without being present, we will get it all wrong.

Three biggest temptations:
To be useful
To be important
To be powerful

At our best, we become Sabbath for one another. We are the emptiness, the day of rest. We become space, that our loved ones, the lost and sorrowful, may find rest in us.
So, remember the Sabbath as not necessarily a day, but a place to grow in God's service to ourselves and others.

Peace and love,


"Be still and know that I am God"(Psalm 46:10)

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