Dear Church Family,
Today we read two scriptures about the Sabbath:
“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” –Genesis 2: 2-3
“Remember the Sabbath day, and keep it holy.”—from the 10 Commandments in Exodus 20
One of the most powerful expositions I have ever read about the Sabbath comes from Abraham Heschel’s famous work simply called The Sabbath. In it he points out that, in the story of creation in Genesis, we learn that God labors for six days and then rests on the seventh, calling it holy. Heschel writes, “There is no reference in the record of creation to any object in space that would be endowed with the quality of holiness.” It is time, he argues, that is holy; not things. It is in the movement of time that we will meet God and God will make us more and more holy. That is why rest and Sabbath are critical. That is why it is one of the ten commands God demands us to keep.
This weekend we celebrate Labor Day which is, in many ways, a secular version of the Sabbath we are all called to keep. In the 1800s various leaders in our country wanted a day set aside for the workers in the land. They wanted a day of rest. They wanted a Sabbath for the country. It is my prayer for all of us that, as we wake Monday morning, we might allow ourselves to rest from our labors and to rest, instead, in the holiness of the time God has given us. Heschel, of course, says it best when he writes:
“Six days a week we wrestle with the world, wringing profit from the earth;
on the Sabbath we especially care for the seed of eternity planted in the soul.
The world has our hands, but our soul belongs to Someone Else.”
Prayer: Oh Lord of the heavens and the earth, remind me you are also the Lord of time. Make the work of my hands acceptable to you and never let me forget that my soul belongs, not to the world and its demands, but to you. In your gracious name I pray. Amen.
Christ’s Peace be with you all,