Monday, April 24, 2017

Living Sabbaths

The Old Testament recorded the Fourth Commandment begins; "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the lord thy God" (Exodus 20) Whatever your religious or non-religious orientation , the instruction to keep one day, the seventh, a week "holy"  is worth contemplating. With the Sabbath, we learn how to consecrate sanctuaries that emerge from the magnificent stream of a year. These sanctuaries exist in time, not place. rather than building physical monuments, the Sabbaths are our great cathedrals. The regular sanctification of a period of time is a core spiritual challenge. Not a mere "interlude" in the week, the Sabbath is, rather, considered "the climax of living." The Sabbath can be liken to "a palace in time, a dimension in which the human is at home with the divine . . . a window in eternity. What more worthy challenge than to create a sanctified period each week where time as measured in the workaday would ceases and life is infused with the sacred?

  The Sabbath also reminds human beings of the need to rest. "In six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day He rested, and was refreshed" (Exodus 31;17). Emphasis on the "rest and refresh" dimension of the Sabbath : In our human bodies, the heart perceptibly rests after each life-giving beat; the human lungs rest between the exhale and the inhale. We have lost this essential  rhythm . . .Because we do not rest, we lose our way . . .  we bypass the nourishment that would give us succor. we miss the quiet that would give us wisdom. We miss the joy and love born of effortless delight. the Sabbath's rest is not merely to refresh yourself for the next round of labour. It is to observe the Sabbath is to celebrate the coronation of a day in the spiritual wonderland of time. With the Sabbath, emotions of joy and delight are evoked as gateways into the heavenly realm.

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