As a whole, we are not big on commandments.
All those “you shall do this and you shall not do that” that we find in the Bible.
We treat them as nice suggestions to be paid attention to when we have the time or when it suits our needs. But I think there is one of those commandments that deserve a bit more attention than what we are giving it. It is this: Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.
A little historical background might help.
At the time that this commandment was made a commandment, if you were not among the powerful and the elite (at least 80% of the population lived hand-to-mouth and day-to-day) you could be forced to work sun up to sundown seven days a week. This commandment, backed by religious authority speaking for God, mandated a time to rest and a time of renewal and a time for family and community.
We (those of us who live around where I live) do not live in that type of world anymore. Thankfully. Instead we live in a non-stop world of our own making, especially those families with children. Because we are able, we have filled every moment of every day with something: school activities and sports and piano lessons and recitals and art classes and Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts and…
All good things.
But, what is lost is…
That time to rest for both ourselves and our children.
That time to stop long enough to be a family together and not a family on the go.
That time to allow heart and mind and soul to catch up with where you are.
Once again we are a people with no time.
No sabbath – that set aside time that helps us be whole.
The author Wendell Berry shares this insight: “Sabbath observance invites us to stop. Invites us to rest. It asks us to take notice that while we rest, the world continues without our help. It invites us to delight in the world’s beauty and abundance.”
Maybe it is time for us to make the old new again.
Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.