Today’s Word: ‘Renew’ as in… rest, as in margin, as in Sabbath.
Our Jewish brothers and sisters traditionally observed the sabbath from Friday evening to Saturday evening. Most Christians communities observe this on Sunday. Either way, it’s a day to step out of the usual rhythms of work into a generative space to breathe, slow down, perhaps even stop. It’s a day for rest, renewal, restoration, and re-imagination.
There’s a powerful model for sabbath woven into the Genesis poem.
There the writer uses finite words to describe something infinite: “God rested on the seventh day from all the work that had been done…” It goes on to say that God “blessed the seventh day and hallowed it…”
The word ‘hallowed’ means to remove something from common usage. It’s like God removed that one day from common usage, perhaps to discover something uncommon.
We need days like this, don’t we?
We need days that are uncommon. We need days that give us a break from the common, ordinary rhythms that knock the stuffing out of us. We need a day, a sabbath to empty out so that we have room for something new.
All of this, of course, raises some important questions. If sabbath is a day just for being and not for doing, how do we do that? If the question isn’t “What will we ‘do’ with our sabbath rest?” but rather, “How will we ‘be’ with the sabbath?” how do we move in that direction? Maybe instead of trying to figure out how to manage the day, maybe the day just gets to manage us. But what does that mean? What does that look like?
Those are good questions. We probably need just one whole day to dwell in that. I know this for sure: the sabbath is upon us. So just chill out a bit, would you? Dial it back, just a bit. Take some time – or rather, just be in the time. Receive the day that’s given to you and rest in it. Create a little margin. Just be.