finding sabbath

I’ve known many Christians who say they had to leave the church to discover Sabbath. Indeed, unplugging from a church can have the same effect as unplugging from the Internet or a demanding job. Suddenly the days seem longer, fuller, and more saturated with color. It’s like climbing out of a too-small space and drinking in fresh air again, or like rolling down the windows on an open road and letting the wind wreck your hair. You go on hikes and explore new spiritual practices involving prayer beads and meditation. You talk about how the oaks are your cathedral, the honeysuckles your incense, and the river over the rocks your hymn. You entertain the idea of taking up a new hobby—origami, perhaps, or yoga—and start writing poetry again. This lasts for a good three weeks until one morning you decide to try an episode of Battlestar Galactica on Netflix and the next thing you know, it’s dinnertime and you still haven’t put on a bra. Things can devolve rather quickly.

– Rachel Held Evans, Searching for Sunday

a vision for sabbath

To set apart one day a week for freedom, a day on which we would not use the instruments which have been so easily turned into weapons of destruction, a day for being with ourselves, a day of detachment from the vulgar, of independence of external obligations, a day on which we stop worshiping the idols of technical civilization, a day on which we use no money, a day of armistice in the economic struggle with our fellow men [and women] and the forces of nature – is there any institution that holds out a greater hope for [human] progress than the Sabbath?

The solution of [humanity’s] most vexing problem will not be found in renouncing technical civilization, but in attaining some degree of independence of it.

In regard to external gifts, to outward possessions, there is only one proper attitude – to have them and to be able to do without them.

– Abraham Heschel, The Sabbath