Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Sabbath pt 1

I’d like to do a 3-part series on the concept behind Sabbath. First, I’d like to talk about what is Sabbath? (what is Yahweh saying to us here?) Next, I’d like to look into what we’re saying by following Sabbath. Finally, I’d like to look into the practice of Sabbath years and the Year of Jubilee.

So…what is Sabbath? Well, as it is spelled out in Exodus 20, we see that it is an edict for Israel to not work on the 7th day of the week. Sabbath also came to include the many feast days and celebrations that Yahweh’s people observed, the annual Sabbath practice of letting the land lie still every 7 years, and the year of Jubilee celebrated every 49 years.

Yahweh says to practice Sabbath because on the 7th day of creation He rested. Interesting! What I think is saying is that a day of rest has been programmed into the very DNA of creation. OR that we’re not meant to work, work, work. This means that at the very core of what it means to be a human being cannot be found in our work.

The Sabbath is a once a week reminder that our value is found in the fact that Yahweh created us and that He needs no other reason than that to love us. The problem is that it is so easy to forget this. Perhaps we should say it this way: Sabbath reminds us that we are human beings not human doings.

This is foreign to our mindsets. We live in a world where we are judged by our production: “How much money do I make?” – “What is your GPA?” – “How fast can you run, how high can you jump, or how well can you put this ball through that hoop?” We spend so much time focusing on these things. They become the way that we view ourselves. We see ourselves as less important than somebody who makes a ton of money. We constantly compare ourselves to the person who has a perfect 4.0 GPA. We wish we were like the star athlete. We think this because we are constantly judging ourselves by how well we produce. We have been tricked into seeing ourselves as human doings.

Perhaps a way that you can help yourself overcome this obsession with production is to take a Sabbath. Take a day and don’t produce anything – just relax and reclaim your identity as a human being.