Sabbath: resting in creation
Sabbath, the full day of rest, is the defining practice of "belonging to God."
It is acting out our trust in God's provision.
It is defining ourselves in the faith that we are not our "doing."
It is practicing powerlessness, so that the power of God will permeate our lives together.
Teach your body the vocabulary of prayer through the ancient practice of repeating sacred phrases with the rhythm of your breathing and actions.
This is modeled over and over throughout the Psalms (the Prayerbook of the Bible).
Today's prayer is from Psalm 23:2
"Hear the Story"
The long day of powerlessness ends at an empty tomb for the women,
and a strange character promising a return home.
Ever wondered about the original Gospel of Mark's strange ending?
the mystery of "Sabbath"
the posture of "Powerlessness"
Stopping to be Powerless
One of the most definitive marks of the "People of God" is the practice of Sabbath.
It is one of the "Ten Commandments" but it was practiced even before Moses met God on the mountain. It was always tied to our understanding of God as the Creator of all things, and it is was first expressed as a practice of faith in God's continued provision.
We can't use our power for a full day each week, to remember God's power of creation.
We can't use our power for a full day each week, to practice waiting on God.
Most dramatically, though, when the people were liberated from enslavement in Babylon, some of them came home, and Sabbath became the re-centering practice of a people healing from communal trauma. We will not work, because we are NOT our work.
We can't use our power for a full day each week, because we are not defined by our own power--we are NOT cogs in the Empire's wheels of wealth.
Sabbath is a practice of powerlessness
and it is also good practice for our own death.
Each of us will arrive into that moment when all of our biological powers cease, and it is good to know that place in our Spirits before we arrive there.
Sabbath prepares our Spirits for death.
What was is like for the women, who watched where Jesus' dead body was laid, watched the huge stone rolled over the tomb, and watched the sunset on that terrible day? What was it like for them to then just do nothing for a full day?
They had to sit with their powerlessness. They had to wait.
They could do nothing, and there was nothing to do.
But at the end of that wait, they bore witness to the Resurrection Power.
Somehow the posture of powerlessness leads moments of witness.
Sabbath is not a day off. It is not intended to give us rest so we can work harder and more effectively the other six days.
Sabbath centers us rightly in creation.
We are God's.
Even in the darkest time, it will be okay.
Our practiced powerlessness will open into provision beyond what can imagine.
We all think we'll show up at the tomb with spices for anointing.
None of really understands resurrection. But we practice anyway.