Saturday, September 10, 2005

Sabbath-Keeping


Lap Dog?

I haven't been sick . . . thanks to BJ Hoff. The day I mentioned that I had a horrible sore throat, she told me to get AIRBORNE, and I did. Now--usually when I get a sore throat, after a couple of days of not being able to swallow, the germs move into my nose and I end up blowing my nose for a week or two. Anyway, I took the Airborne stuff and a few hours later I felt almost like my old self again. So--thank you BJ, thank you, hubby, for running out to get the stuff, and thank you to the woman who invented it!

Now--on to today's topic. Several years ago I became convicted about the importance of sabbath-keeping. I mean, it's one of the Ten Commandements, and we didn't get rid of the other nine when Jesus came, did we? No.

Now, I know some of you will say that Sunday is the Lord's Day so we don't need a Sabbath any more, but the purpose of the sabbath is to rest from your regular work as God rested on the seventh day. It's a holy pattern we've been commanded to observe. And if you're a pastor's family like us, Sunday is anything BUT a day of rest. It's a day of work. In fact, when I get home from morning worship, after dinner I head straight to the office and work either on my WIP or my DIP (work in progress or degree in progress, whichever is most urgent.)

So--for the last several years I've been pretty adamant about keeping a Sabbath. If I'm home, it's Saturday. I do lots of stuff, but none of it is "my usual work." (I wonder if blogging counts?) If I'm traveling or working on a Saturday, I take a day off during the next week and call it my "sabbath." And you know what? I've found that sabbath-keeping is a key to mental health and productivity.

I found the following in a book I'm using for my WIP. It validates what I've felt in my spirit all along. So--if you're not keeping a Sabbath, I urge you to get into the holy habit. You'll not regret it!

"A Shabbat-keeping, Greek sabbatismos, used only here in the New Testament. In the Septuagint, the related Greek word “sabbatizein” was coined to translate the Hebrew verb shabat when it means “to observe Shabbat.” The usual translation, “There remains a Sabbath rest,” minimizes the observance aspect and makes the role of God’s people entirely passive.

"Christians often assume that the New Testament does not require God’s people to observe Shabbat and go on to claim that Sunday has replaced Saturday as the Church’s day of worship (see 1C 16:2N). But this passage, and in particular v. 9, shows that Shabbat-observance is expected of believers. From Co 2:16–17, which says that Shabbat was a shadow of the things that were to come, but the substance comes from the Messiah, we learn that the essence of Shabbat-observance for believers is not following the detailed rules which halakhah sets forth concerning what may or may not be done on the seventh day of the week. Rather, as v. 10 explains, the Shabbat-keeping expected of God’s people consists in resting from one’s own works, as God did from his; it consists in trusting and being faithful to God (vv. 2–3).

"Although the specific “works” from which the readers of this letter were to rest were animal sacrifices (see 6:4–6), by implication all self-struggle, in which one relies on one’s own efforts instead of trusting God, is to be avoided; and in this the author is making the same point as Sha’ul does at Ro 3:19–4:25. "

Stern, D. H. 1996, c1992. Jewish New Testament Commentary : A companion volume to the Jewish New Testament (electronic ed.) . Jewish New Testament Publications: Clarksville

1 comment:

BJ said...

So glad to hear the Airborne worked, Angie! Welcome to the ever-expanding club.

Appreciated your comments on keeping the Sabbath. I think we've misunderstood and underestimated the importance of this for way too long.

And *where* did you get that photo?!

BJ