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Lenten Devotion 27 3.27.2020

Exodus 20: 1; 8-11
20Then God spoke all these words:
8 Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy. 9 For six days you shall labor and do all your
work. 10 But the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work—
you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident
in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in
them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and consecrated
When I started practicing law in 1983, I worked for a firm that billed by the hour. That was
our “stock in trade” – the billable hour. A billable hour was time we spent working on client
files. If we were not working on client files, the hour was not billable, and so unproductive.
Unproductive time was wasted time. The thought of “wasted time” drives me to be busy and
productive all the time. And when I am not busy and productive, I feel guilty and anxious.
But it’s not just about work, right? Friday night is high school athletics. Saturday morning is
Betsy’s soccer game. After that we need to mow the lawn and do the yard work. Billy has his
baseball game in the afternoon. We have to stop at the store on the way home to get food for
the week. Now we have to clean the house. Drive the kids all over town. Then we have to do
the laundry, pay the bills, and call or visit our parents. Maybe a few random hours to relax
before we get ready to go back to work.
That is not the way it is supposed to be. That is not what God Commands. God commands
that every 7 th day, we are to give ourselves a break.
9 For six days you shall labor and do all your work. 10 But the seventh day is a sabbath to the
Lord your God; you shall not do any work…
Sabbath is a time where we observe the cosmic order.
Patrick Miller and Jon Levinson describe it this way in their book on the Ten
[B]iblical law … is of the same order as the laws of nature, the inner mechanism of creation. …
The keeper of the Sabbath thus brings one’s life into harmony with the intrinsic rhythm of the
cosmos, instituted by divine fiat and observed [first] by God.
The rhythm of the cosmos. I like that one. God rests on the seventh day. So should we. ​
Maybe we should look at our current “lock down” as a kind of Sabbath. Maybe we are
getting the opportunity to make some back payments on ignored sabbaths past. What do
you do on sabbath? You get away from feverish productivity. You slow down and take in
things that have been set aside. Sleep late. Read a good mystery. Watch some old shows you
forgot about. Call a friend. It’s OK. Really, it is.
What would Jesus do? More about that in two days.

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