One of things that was always getting Jesus into trouble was the way he kept–and didn’t keep–the Sabbath. The Biblical literalists had so many applications for how they understood the Torah that God’s original intent had been too often lost. When Jesus came to be one of us, time and again he lived to show us the Truth of God’s love. He healed on the Sabbath and picked grain on the Sabbath and showed us what the law of Love was truly like.
Truth is, keeping Sabbath today gets us into trouble, too. We are respected for all that we do and accomplish, and we don’t get promotions or awards this side of heaven for ceasing to work once a week. But doing so is what God says is holy, and when we choose to give one day each week back to God’s care and to cease to be in charge, we are actually being honoring God.
This is the eve of the Triduum–those three days of worship that are the grand conclusion of Lent and Holy Week, and I have chosen to keep a Sabbath. For twenty four hours, I will intrust my work to God. Granted, I worked at the church until nearly ten last night in order to be able to have a Sabbath today; there were things that were left undone, and I will take them back first thing tomorrow.
Today I slept late. I read the paper. I had some lovely prayer and reading time in my prayer chair. I’ll cook a good dinner. I’ll work in the yard. I won’t check my work email.
Tomorrow is Maundy Thursday and I’m back to work–hearing the Reconciliation of a Penitent, finishing the Maundy Thursday sermon, hiring a new staff person, tending to some pastoral needs, doing some final last minute Good Friday and Easter planning.
But not today. It’s my day to walk with God in the garden.
I pray that all who read this will find a place of Sabbath this Holy Week. It’s good to be rested before we go on that difficult journey with Christ to the cross.