Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Whatever Happened to the Sabbath?

My church (which is on Facebook, and Twitter) is doing a number of small group studies for Lent.  Every group covers the same topic each week, and that topic is related to Sunday’s service as well.  Pretty neat.  One of the groups is structured around writing.  It’s being led by our Pastoral Intern and she’s posted some of her writing for the group on her blog

It’s pretty neat and though I’m not as brave as her to share so much, I thought I’d give it a try and share my writing for this week on the topic of Sabbath.  (Last week was on prayer; we wrote psalms.)


Sabbath.  I can’t hear or see the word without thinking “nsabata,” the Tonga word for “Saturday.”  Having the word built into the week like that was a constant reminder.  “What is today?”  “Sabbath.”  “Rest.”

As Easter draws near, I long for Sabbath.  I miss it fiercely.  That week I used to find some way to set aside.  “What denomination does that?”  Because it’s not a valid religious practice unless sanctioned by some denomination.  Yet, I made it happen.  Me and God, me and a dorm room, a hut, an apartment.  Me and myself and fear, of the dark, of boredom, of being alone.  Me and God and calmness and peace.  It seems impossible now.  The world calls.  How can one disappear for a whole week?  But the world called then, too.  And yet, I found Sabbath.

Now, my Sabbath comes in smaller doses.  An evening knitting.  A BART ride with closed eyes and a prayerful heart.  A deep breath.  A hug.  A connection to God and God’s world that may not last for days or hours, but long enough to listen, long enough to stop, long enough to be.

I still miss that week.

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