More on the “Sabbath”
As I said in my last post, I got a whole different perspective on the Sabbath as I watched a large group of soldiers celebrate at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. And here are some of my ideas of what I want to do. For starters, based on my being challenged to make one day in seven different from the other six days, my wife and I had already bought a beautiful large candle that we call our “Sabbath Candle.” That was even before my conversation with the soldiers in Jerusalem. We had good intentions, but I still had those “somber Sabbath” memories to fight against.
So we also decided that one of the ways we could make the Sabbath more celebratory, was to would at scheduling family gatherings on Sunday. At least once a month, we gather for brunch at one of two local restaurants, or we meet at our house for a BBQ. It’s a time to celebrate our family.
I remember reading Abraham Heschel, one of the famous Jewish writers, who wrote a book on the Sabbath. In it, he said that when we honor the Sabbath, it is like we are building “castles in time.” I think he included in the castle-building the creation of memories of great celebrations together. He also says that when we honor the Sabbath, we are saying we are in control of our time, rather than having our time control us. That was, I believe, God’s intent when he instituted the Sabbath in Scripture.
At this point, we are also trying to not do the kind of work we do the rest of the week. It’s not that we don’t “work,” like the old Jewish man who asked me as a boy to turn off the fire under his soup. For him, that was work, and he was to do no work on the Sabbath. He had obviously earlier found another Gentile kid to turn the fire on under his soup. For me, it is simply doing something different–something I don’t do the rest of the week. For example, instead of writing, I may spend time copying my old slides–something I enjoy and something different.
Question: If you were to take seriously the one-in-seven principle found in the Bible, what would you do that would make your “Sabbath” different?