In the relentless busyness of modern life, we have lost the rhythm between work and rest,” writes Wayne Muller in Sabbath: Restoring the Sacred Rhythm of Rest.
Millennia ago, the tradition of Sabbath created an oasis of sacred time within a life of unceasing labor. This consecrated time, Muller affirms, is available to all of us, regardless of our spiritual tradition. We need not even schedule an entire day each week. Sabbath time can be a sabbath afternoon, a sabbath hour, or a sabbath walk. Sabbath time is time off the wheel when we take our hand from the plow and allow the essential goodness of creation to nourish our souls.
We have lost this essential rhythm. Our culture invariably supposes that action and accomplishment are better than rest, that doing something–anything–is better than doing nothing.Wayne Muller,
Sabbath: Restoring the Sacred Rhythm of Rest
Discussions about the Sabbath often center around moralistic laws and arguments over whether a person should be able to play cards or purchase liquor on Sundays. In Sabbath as Resistance: Saying No to the Culture of Now, Walter Brueggemann writes that the Sabbath is not simply about keeping rules but rather about becoming a whole person and restoring a whole society. Importantly, Brueggemann speaks to a 24/7 society of consumption, a society in which we live to achieve, accomplish, perform, and possess. We want more, own more, use more, eat more, and drink more. Keeping the Sabbath allows us to break this restless cycle and focus on what is truly important: God, other people, all life.
Walter Brueggemann, Professor of Old Testament Emeritus at Columbia Theological Seminary and the world’s leading interpreter of the Old Testament writes: “Thus I have come to think that the fourth commandment on sabbath is the most difficult and most urgent of the commandments in our society, because it summons us to intent and conduct that defies the most elemental requirements of a commodity-propelled society that specializes in control and entertainment, bread and circuses … along with anxiety and violence.”
We used to sing the hymn “Take Time to Be Holy.” But perhaps we should be singing, “Take time to be human.” Or finally, “Take time.” Sabbath is taking time … time to be holy … time to be human.”― Walter Brueggemann,
Sabbath as Resistance: Saying No to the Culture of Now
The Write Stuff & Ragland Family History is Taking a Sabbath
In the spirit of taking an intentional break from the rat race for rest and rejuvenation, The Write Stuff and Ragland Family History blogs will join with the Selah Center in taking a sabbath until the end of September.
I encourage you to consider taking a sabbath from social media. You might instead read Wayne Muller or Walter Brueggemann’s books.
Look for fresh blogs in October.
Debora Ragland Buerk
The Write Stuff
Looking at life from a different POV.