May 19, 2006

Second Advent and Passivity – Sabbath and Eschatology

As noted above, when humanity remembers the Sabbath one is commemorating the creation event. This is a component, but it is more than commemorative, it is also participatory. Every week we participate in the Sabbath. We are seeking to live in God?s intention. First, it seeks to commemorate God?s original intention. To commemorate and participate in God?s original intention, we must first understand what God?s intention was at creation. Reflection on my own ecclesial and ethnic traditions informs me that first of all God?s original intention was to make all of humanity in God?s image. God?s original intention was for humanity to live equally. A reflection on how the Sabbath evolved through the Biblical record confirms this for all individuals in Israel including slave, free, rich, and poor took part in the responsibilities as well as the benefits of the Sabbath. Even the animals were to ?rest? (Exodus 20:10). For the purposes of this paper, I will use equality as a component of God?s original intention. Thus, to commemorate and participate in Sabbath we should be commemorating and participating in God?s original intention which includes equality. Seventh-day Adventists sometimes have emphasized the refraining from work aspect of the 7th day without emphasizing this participation in God?s intention aspect. We participate in equality in the world as we stand up for the vision of the Sabbath in the world.

The Sabbath allows us to live in God?s original intention although partially today. Today we can see the in breaking of the Kingdom. Today by reflection on this symbol we can gain a clearer perception of what God?s intention is and thus what the fullness of God?s kingdom will look like. The Sabbath itself does not allow one to fall into a trap of quietism where one does nothing. The Sabbath pushes us to see the world as God would see it. This first step clarifies our view of the world in light of others.

Because of the participatory aspects of the Sabbath, one cannot ever fall into a trap of just looking on or observing. If one is truly remembering God?s creative acts, or as I have put it remembering God?s intention, one will participate in it which means an active disengagement with all that is not in line with God?s intention.

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shermancox

Vanderbilt Trained Minister (MDiv), Univ. of Alabama Trained Software Developer (MS), Author, Blogger (http://soulpreaching.com ), Husband, Son, Brother, Father.

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