To give you an idea of what Bible Study looks like here, the following are the questions and quotes that we’ll be looking at tonight. I’m excited about it as Sabbath keeping is something I’m passionate about, partly because I have experienced it as a profound gift and partly because I know it feels foreign to many people. It’s probably too much material, so we’ll see how much and what carries over to next week.
Questions on Sabbath (in no particular order)
- Do you have any childhood memories or practices related to Sabbath?
- Productivity: by taking time off, one is ultimately more productive. True or untrue in your experience? How does this effect one’s understanding of Sabbath?
- The prophets give examples of God being angry about the people not keeping his Sabbaths (see Jer 17; Ezek 20, 22, 46; Neh 13): why would He care so much?
- How is Sabbath like or unlike time-off?
- How can Sabbath be about seeing time/values differently? How does one then do that?!
- How do strict rules help or hinder Sabbath doing?
Quotes from Lauren F. Winner’s Mudhouse Sabbath:
- p 2 “Shabbat is like nothing else. Time as we know it does not exist for these 24 hours, and the worries of the week soon fall away. A feeling of joy appears.”
- pp 6-7 Why would God care whether someone microwaves a frozen dinner. Response: “What happens when we stop working and controlling nature? When we don’t operate machines or pick flowers? . . . When we cease interfering in the world we are acknowledging that it is God’s world.”
Dorothy Bass, Receiving the Day, argues against shopping on the Sabbath – as it is a way of saying that we, on this day, actively choose to not take part in consumerism.
Further, she would argue that Sabbath is about acknowledging that I can’t. I let go of my doing for a day to acknowledge that it is only because of and with God that anything does happen (and not because of my brilliance or efforts).
Suggestions on how to do Sabbath taken from http://qideas.org/articles/wisdom-and-sabbath-rest/
- Have time to do whatever you’d like or nothing, whatever suits the mood you’re in.
- Do something you find fun (but might take planning): e.g., gardening, bike trips, painting.
- Include time for prayer and worship and listening to God; take time to rest (sleep or whatever else refreshes your body); take time to appreciate beautiful things;
- Take into account if you are introverted or extroverted and what your normal life looks like.
- Suggestion: 2 full days of Sabbath if putting in long days or 1 full day Sabbath + 3 evenings more empty.