10.10.2011

Sabbath

On the Sabbath - you ask, "What feeds my soul?" And you do that.

I recently read this description of the Sabbath day and it has got me thinking about how I spend my days of "rest."  This is not necessarily a new concept for me but I love the simplicity of that question:  What feeds my soul?   It is important to think about "sabbath" not only as a specific day but also in terms of a broader concept of rest - a day, a moment, a state of being.  In contemporary society, the Sabbath - whether that is Sunday or any other day set aside for "rest" - has become either a day like any other or a day in which we check off our attendance at church for the week.

The church that I grew up in recently celebrated its 20th anniversary.  We have been reflecting, remembering, and re-imagining church together.  Though my church is fairly unconventional to begin with, I think there is always room for dreaming.  I think we must, both individually and collectively, ask what feeds our soul and seek a sabbath that does just that.  When we gather for what we call "church", is it a time of worship, community, breaking bread, and servanthood that feeds our souls?  Or is it a time of presentation, traditionalism, and ritual where we wonder why we are even there?  I believe that ritual and tradition have the ability to feed our souls too, we must simply remember why we do what we do and find purpose and meaning in such practices. Repetition is good.  Habit can be helpful.  When we do certain things again and again, in particular patterns or regular practices, our bodies and our minds begin to do these things naturally, they become a part of who we are and what we do.  We must simply always go back to the beginning and remember why.

So I wonder if we might re-imagine the Sabbath together.

My dearest family and friends all gathered together around a feast of good, wholesome food.  Beautiful music.  A time of praise, of worship, of honoring the One who created us. A time of quiet, meditation, prayer, or reflection so that we might examen our souls and consider how we have been created.  

Or maybe a time of solitude and silence.  A good book.  Rest.  Maybe a walk.  Spending time outside.  Reflecting on the heavens.  Creating, dreaming, and marveling.

Or maybe it's giving of ourselves - our resources, our skills or abilities, our time.  Offering something of what we have to a fellow soul.  Cheering each other on.  Coming together to pass the peace, offer a blessing.

Yesterday was a sabbath day where I spent the day with my family at the Chicago marathon, cheering on my dad as he ran the 26.2 miles for Africa - raising money for Worldvision, a charity that brings hope and aid to communities in need all over Africa. The day was far from restful.  But when you spend it cheering on 35,000 runners among 1.7 million other fans, many of them running for a particular cause or mission, something magical happens.  And the soul is fed.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, this is the meaning of Sabbath. You nailed it, Jessica. You've captured the heart of what was intended by Father.

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