Finding A New Sabbath Rhythm

Yesterday, after church and lunch I had an appointment to get my hair cut and beard trimmed. On my way home, I decided to stop off at the grocery store to pick up a few things before I went home. I know what you're thinking:  Pretty exciting stuff, right?  

It's true, these activities in and of themselves are not all that interesting.  But thirty years ago, they would have been almost impossible to have done on a Sunday.  

I'm typically not the guy who pulls the "back-when-I-was-a-kid" card, but I'm about to do just that. 

When I was a kid, grocery stores were closed on Sundays, and you sure as heck wouldn't have been able to find a barbershop open to get a hair cut.  If you were lucky, there might be some gas stations still doing business, and maybe a convenience store, but not much else. 

As much as I love the convenience of being able to get so many things done on a Sunday afternoon, there was a different rhythm to life back then---no denying it.  But the reason that rhythm existed was largely due to tradition, and when the meaning of that tradition faded, so did the rhythm it created to sustain it. 

I think we need some new Sabbath rhythms.  There's no way to turn back the clock, and frankly, I don't want to turn it back.  However, if we can't figure out a way to install a pause button in our lives, we're going to flame out.  

The write of Hebrews penned the following verse that speaks into this: "There remains a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for those who enter God's rest also rest from their own work, just as God did from his."  

I believe the writer of Hebrews is talking about Sabbath-rest in the here and now.  He's lifting up the notion that there's a way to live a Sabbath lifestyle where surrender to God includes surrendering to the need for rest in mind, body and spirit.  

In his book on the Sabbath, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel wrote the following, which speaks directly into our own context:  "The higher goal of spiritual living is not to amass a wealth of information, but to face sacred moments." 

May you find ways to push back against the on-demand, constantly streaming, 24/7 cycle of living that dominates our culture.  May you discover new ways to keep the Sabbath as holy and may you face sacred moments that transform and renew you. 

And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen. 


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