Over the Memorial Day weekend, I was thinking about the human desire to retreat. We run and strive and work and organize and something deep within us yearns for a break.
We are wired for Sabbath. Shabbat.
Literally, a verb that means stop. Shabbat is a set apart time first chosen by the Creator in Genesis 2, then given as loving instruction to us, the image-bearing co-creators. Don’t use time only to do and make; take time also to be and enjoy. Savor what is here. Remember the primacy of relationship.
created this watercolor as a representation of Shabbat. 6 days we get caught in the swirls of time. 1 day we step out into the circle that holds the swirls of time within.
The Scriptures invite us to experience the freedom this offers, individually and communally.
Walter Brueggemann says Sabbath “provides time, space, energy, and imagination for coming to the ultimate recognition that more commodities, which may be acquired in the rough and ready of daily economics, finally do not satisfy... Sabbath is the regular, disciplined, visible, concrete yes to the neighborly reality of the community beloved by God.” *
Sabbath is a great illustration of how changing how we view Scripture can transform the way we view the world. What if Sabbath isn’t a restriction but a gift? How could the ideas of it be put it into practice in modern life?
I hope those are questions you can reflect upon in your life.
This, I think, is why Shabbat Shalom is such a beautiful traditional greeting for Sabbath. The practice of stopping is a way to walk our souls towards peace and wholeness.
P.S. Shabbat is one of our thematic Scripture Circles this summer. Click HERE to learn more.
* Brueggemann, Walter. Sabbath as Resistance: Saying No to the Culture of Now. Westminster John Knox Press; January 31, 2014.