Tuesday, March 14, 2023
Keeping the Sabbath Wholly by Marva Dawn
Lenten Devotional by Michaela Eskew
The third theme of Marva Dawn’s book, Keeping the Sabbath Wholly, is Embracing. In her section on Embracing, she considers what is the true intention of the Sabbath day. Often, we think of Sabbath as the things we can’t do, rather than the things we can do on the Sabbath.
We read in the gospels many times that Jesus breaks the Sabbath; he performs healings and even picks grain. Jesus declares that, “The Sabbath was made for humankind and not humankind for the Sabbath.” (Mark 2:27) We are to live into what the Sabbath offers to us and embrace that time rather than spend the day considering all that we have lost the ability to do.
Sabbath for Christians is Sunday. We spend our time with God and God’s community. Dawn calls us to do this with intentionality. To not come to worship as a burden or task, but to fully embrace the beauty of being in community with God’s people. Seek holy friendships with fellow parishioners, soak in the music and the scriptures, hear a sermon that speaks to walking as a Christian Monday through Saturday, allow that morning to fill you with all that you need to get through the rest of the week.
There is something special about Christian friends. It’s not necessarily that they understand your vocabulary around religious life, it’s something about that self-sacrificial love that you can only find with true Christian friends. They understand grace and mercy for a crying baby in a meeting. They understand prayer as a way to console and connect with a loving God. They understand doubt as a path closer to God rather than an opening for skepticism and dis-belief. They understand loving your neighbor as yourself, as exemplified by the many offers to feed me and my family during times of trial.
Sabbath can be a time to touch base again, touch base with God and God’s community. To embrace a small taste of the paradise that God intends for us, as well as to be embraced by a community that is living in the same broken world as you.
Holy God, thank you for church and what it offers us each week. Help us to take full advantage of that time and space and let it fuel us for the other six days. Amen.
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