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Sunday, January 2, 2011

Sabbath Rest: a Mini-Jubliee

One of the gifts of winter, and the New Year's placement there: that it is a season for receiving rather than a season for causing, which makes it an easy time to visit the "gallery" of nature while receiving the following words given to God's people many centuries ago:

For the land you are about to enter and occupy is not like the land of Egypt from which you came, where you planted your seed and dug out irrigation ditches with your foot as in a vegetable garden. It is a land of hills and valleys with plenty of rain-a land that the Lord your God cares for. He watches over it day after day throughout the year! Duet. 11:10-12

Take a day, take a season, to see again that despite all your efforts putting your hands to the soil even with great success, nevertheless, this world holds a beauty that requires no effort from you and is not of your making! Let it be a part of your rest and a source of peace.

And this [shall be] a sign unto thee, Ye shall eat [this] year such as groweth of itself; and the second year that which springeth of the same: and in the third year sow ye, and reap, and plant vineyards, and eat the fruit thereof. Isaiah 37:30

This concept of recognizing our limited participation in the cycle of life was built into the ancient Hebrew lifestyle, but we must be more intentional about it in our work-worship culture. This is one of the greatest dignities of winter to the spiritual gardener. May you walk in the fullest of its blessings!

Happy Sabbath.


  1. I grabbed on to a fragment of your post, "take a day, take a season..."

    A blog I read regularly challenged her readers to choose "one word" for the year. A challenging word to focus on, rather than resolutions. I can't pick just one word, though I'm praying for one... but I love your words... "take a day, take a season..." love that... thank you. Happy Year, Happy blessings to you... :)

  2. Erin...I had a spiritual-director friend on fb present the same one-word challenge to us. I knew straight away that my word for the year (and maybe for the decade) is balance. And as I've thought more on that word, I see it comes in terms of a lightening of what has been too heavy...a very good thing in my estimation!

    Thanks you for blessing my words. Pray for me that they continue to honor the story God weaves into this earth and His people.