Saturday, May 24, 2008

Keeping sabbath time

"Relaxation"

I really want to urge you to go read an article entitled Reclaiming the Sabbath by Jane Carol Redmont over on Daily Episcopalian.

Here's an excerpt:

One of the greatest challenges to us as church is to go against the culture’s use of time as a commodity, its business model of program evaluation, and its focus on production and consumption. God loves us. God saves us and makes us whole. God rests on the seventh day. If we decide to embody this as church, what will the shape of our time look like? How will we operate differently from the culture around us?

I am not about to cancel the work of the diocesan
anti-racism committee which I chair. I do wonder whether, in addition to an anti-racism audit, we in the churches also need a “Sabbath audit.” The “audit” language is, of course, hardly countercultural. But it helps make my point. My intuition is that in addressing the problem of overscheduling and the struggle for Sabbath, we will get to the root of our vocation in the world as surely as we do when we address an issue of justice. The lack of time for rest and contemplation is, in fact, a matter of justice –among other things. Protecting Sabbath time may remind us that contemplation and action for justice are neither opposed to one another nor mutually exclusive. Each withers in the other’s
absence.
Brother Roger, founding prior of the Taizé community, knew this when he spoke of lutte et contemplation, struggle and contemplation, in one breath.

I have no easy response to the Sabbath struggle and the overscheduling of churches. I have only an assessment, some intuitions, and some questions. I also know that the solutions, like the problem, are likely to be systemic and economic as much as “spiritual.”
My own Rule of Life requires me to keep sabbath and I'm so glad. Otherwise, we are very prone to burn-out.

3 comments:

  1. This is a fantastic article. Taking a Sabbath is such an important part of being a healthy, whole person and it's easy to let society talk you out of it.

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