The seventh day
This is not the seventh day of Dezember obviously. It is the seventh day of the week according to jewish tradition. That is why I put an essay for you to read here. Enjoy. There will be no other event promoted today.
Тhe seventh day of our world was the day, when God rested from his work. He had worked for six days and as we see now he did a great job. The last thing he created was this day of rest which he made a guideline for every living being, at least for us humans. This was the first “Sabbath”.
Sabbath means rest, it is designed to be one day in the week on that for 24 hours no work should be done. Everything that could be a burden or has to be done though undesirable is to be done on the day before or has to wait until the next day, if possible. On every special Sabbath we can find in the bible there was meant to be a community event. People should come together and meet God together on Sabbath. I think it is designed to be the one day, on which at least, we should take our focus from our work and focus on relationships, drawing closer, and growing in character.
As most of us might know, Sabbath is one of the Ten commandments. Some say it is the only commandment concerning ourselves – there are commandments about God, the Sabbath and then the commandments about others – standing in the midst of the ten commandments, to make us aware of the importance of rest. C. S. Lewis once said, if the world was following Gods will, what God would see, when he looked down on us, was a person sitting in a garden and reading a book. The modern society is again in a state where it would be no mistake, to make rest a more important law. The people of Israel where in a similar situation, before they were given the commandments. They had been forced to work hard everyday still being punished for not working fast enough – this is why God prescribed them again this one day of rest a week like a medicine to cure their restless hearts. The sabbath is a gift of God to any society or community who takes time for it.
In my life I had quite a strict view about Sabbaths or Sundays, which are most commonly in modern christian culture practiced as days of rest. I had not to work on anything on a sabbath. I had to get my homework done on Saturdays so Sundays were provided free. As far as I remember there must have been very few or no Sundays on which not at least one of our family members went to church. Even if we all lay sick at home, we might have come together to have a little Sunday service. This may have been a burden to me at first but it became more and more a habit and feels to me a very healthy thing. I have been successful in almost everyone of the tests I had on Mondays, if only I had exercised for it on the Saturday before. And I was most relaxed about school, still one of the best students in all grades. After finishing school soon I started to work at something like a fast food butcher’s shop, open every day from 5am to 10pm. This made it very hard for me to keep Sundays free. This change was accompanied by me being confused about my core values and confused about what to do and not to do on Sundays. I assume now as best, just to keep it simple, trying to make sure you get into a rhythm of having a day of rest every seventh day, no matter if that is a Sunday a Wednesday or whatever. It is also important to be proactive about your Sabbath, especially when living in community – you might be committed not to wash the dishes or clean the floor on Sunday, because you think that could wait until Monday. This is of course true, but we need to figure out a solution acceptable for the community before they try to force you to do something against your conscience on Sunday morning e.g. to prepare breakfast. Then you should just talk to your family on Saturday and ask them what you could prepare for the next day. Feel free to ask God, how do design your day of rest empowering you every time for another week in his plan. And remember, Sabbath was originally on Saturdays – which day we take is not the point.
In this sense I’m glad we have weekly Sabbath days here in the internship at STN, that are celebrated as community event and combined to fasting. This last sabbath was a great day for me to just once more experience God – a Father who wants us to rest in our arms, yes who would not even be sad about us falling asleep in his presence. Getting closer to him was just done by sitting at his feet, in this case listening to worship music. Likewise Maria sat at Jesus feet and this could not be taken from her by her busy sister (see Luke 10:39). But on this sabbath God spoke to e also through how Jesus practiced the sabbath, being “the Lord of the Sabbath” (Matthew 12:8) and asking which was “lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?”(Mark 3:4) – I had to remember me arguing with my parents, whether I had to wash the dishes on my Sunday. Still there is some good stuff to be done and we are not to say: “It’s my Sabbath I will stay seated here and won’t move, whatever comes my way.” - we are still made to be wise and use the time we have (see Colossians 3:4). I will probably have to change something about my attitude, being someone who still serves others though resting on a special day. It is amazing for me just to have time, and that means more than one hour, where I can come to Gods presence, not forced to read this or that special passage in the bible, but just connecting to the heart of God, maybe just opening the bible and reading what God shows me there, being open to hear something for me personally, but not expecting to force a life-changing revelation from his word. Just practicing relationship for one day. Believing that this is exactly, what God wants us to do. Shabbat Shalom! שבת שלומ
Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed it. Have a great day!