Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Seventh Day: God rested (how about you?)

Today is the Seventh Day of the week, the day God rested in Genesis 2:1-3. Today is the Sabbath in Judaism.  Sabbath is a word that means "the seventh day, a day for rest," and it is a word that comes directly to us from Hebrew (Genesis 2:3):

"So God blessed the seventh day, and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation."

Yet in our culture, we've made Saturday into a day of intense activity, or a day to sneak into the office. Sabbaths are what college professors get to take every few years.

We call Saturday-Sunday the "weekend," but that is our own recent cultural creation.  We've all but lost the idea of sabbath as a weekly gift from God. Sunday becomes for many a day of collapse at the end of their week before the grind begins again on Monday. Can we find a way to think of Sunday as the first day of the week, a day of worship and celebrating the Resurrection? And Saturday as the last day of the week, a day of rest?

How about you? How about easing up on Saturdays? God rested on Saturday, can you?

Here is the Collect for Saturday, on page 99 of the Book of Common Prayer (and how good is that? The prayerbook has a prayer for Saturdays!). Do enjoy your Saturday:

Almighty God, who after the creation of the world rested
from all your works and sanctified a day of rest for all your
creatures: Grant that we, putting away all earthly anxieties,
may be duly prepared for the service of your sanctuary, and
that our rest here upon earth may be a preparation for the
eternal rest promised to your people in heaven; through Jesus
Christ our Lord. Amen.

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