Sunday, December 2, 2007

Daily Sabbath

I watched a gorgeous sunset this evening in Corsicana, TX where I am interim pastor at Westminster Presbyterian Church. God's creational palette made dusk exquisite. It moved me to prayer and what came out of my mouth surprised me and sparked some reflection on the rythm of God's time and sabbath.

The prayer I uttered was "Bring on the evening, God, the beginning of a new day." I started to think about this and about how according to Genesis 1 the structure of the day is "there was morning and there was evening." That means the rythm of our creaturely day begins with evening, with rest, with sabbath. Not only do we "stop" (lit. meaning of "sabbath") but we "worship" by entrusting ourselves to God in sleep ("give your angels charge over those who sleep" from daily office of compline). Not only does sabbath structure our week, then, but each day bears its imprint as well.

What difference might it make if I were to internalize such a rythm for each day? It might give me a way to more clearlt identify the "sabbath-busters" in my life. whatever chronically robs me of sleep, the night terrors and phantoms that seek to break the sabbath of my slumber, might well repay reflection and pray on the assumption that these things are indeed matters of spiritual significance.

It might also suggest that in addition to being physically restorative, an adequate amount of sleep may have spiritual "gravitas" too. Perhaps this puts our workaholism or whatever keeps us up late into the night into fresh perspective. Doubtless there is more here and I will return to these reflections from time to time. But this is enough for now.


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