It seems as if I get later each week with my Shabbat reflection. I think I even missed last week’s entry. I’ve been trying to understand why this is. Why don’t I just sit down and write it on Saturday each week, the Jewish Sabbath? Surely there must be something to write about. There must have been some moment of grace, or a moment of peace or a reflection on rest and renewal that I could record. To say that it was Shabbat, and that I wouldn’t use my computer is, for a non Jew, not authentic at all.
What I’ve realized is that, for a Christian, Shabbat really is Sunday and not on Saturday. We intellectually know this, especially us church workers. Going to church on Sunday is part of a Christian’s programmed identity. It stems back hundreds of years for us and through layers of Christian theology. Sunday-Church-Sabbath, it works together sort of like the Trinity. Sunday is our day of rest.
But more importantly than rest, it is a day set aside especially for renewing our grace filled life and relationship with God. It’s a day when we can, and hopefully we do, set aside all that consumes our time and energy during the week. We can put down our worries and concerns trusting that God will protect us and give us strength to pick them up again.
After morning worship, thanksgiving and praise, for me there is a Divine aura that encircles the rest of the day. It feels different, even here in Jerusalem when the rest of the population is back to work and beginning their weekly tasks. The day has a distinctive feel to it because it is infused with God’s spirit and that is made so visible and tangible to us because I have rested in grace.
So, what does this have to do with my weekly Shabbat reflection? Nothing and everything. I’m on Sabbatical rest this year. It’s a year to rest. It’s a year to dig very deep into my spiritual life and nature without outside interruption. It’s a year to do things when I am moved because I can and I want to, not because I must. Shabbat Shalom my friends, you can decide if this was last week’s or this week’s reflection!