Saturday, January 24, 2009

Sabbath Living

Time flys by. The Rat Race. Busy, Busy, busy. One day and then a week and then a year quickly blurs into another. We are left feeling tired and anxious. But is this what God has intended? Yes, He wants us to live lives of purpose; he has given us a weighty commission. But yet Jesus tells us that His yoke is easy and his burden is light (Mt. 11:30).

Living a life of Sabbath rest has been a way for our family to stop the fast pace of a world swirling around us. A culture that tells us we must always be working, striving, accomplishing. This is a day set aside to delight. To seek beauty. To quiet ourselves.

"...God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done." (Gn 2:2).

As a mom of little ones, the repitition of my work can be overwhelming. Always more dishes, more laundry, another toy to pick up. Diapers to change and another feeding. Even on the Sabbath these things must happen. But as darkness falls and the Christ candle is light to usher in the Sabbath, I become aware again of holiness. As we hold hands around the table, I am knit again to children I may have spent the day correcting and nagging. Hearing His word, I learn who He is and who I am to become. And there is peace.

If the God of the universe can rest, surely I can and must allow myself to do so. A rest which is restorative. I love the chance to escape the rush of life for a holiday, a day at the spa, a stop at a coffee shop. These are good things but I've found they have the tendency to turn my focus only further into myself. This type of leisure provides an escape but when I return to normal life, all is the same again and in contrast perhaps even more crazy.

Sabbath turns us to a God of peace, who restores our souls and opens our eyes to the goodness of his creation.

O God, in the course of this busy life, give us times of refreshment and peace; and grant that we may so use our leisure to rebuild our bodies and renew our minds, that our spirits may be opened to the goodness of your creation; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (BCP, p. 825)

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