April 24

The Sabbath – Disengagement From the Present World

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Sabbath : Restoring the Sacred Rhythm of RestThe Sabbath is a disengagement of the community from the present world. It is difficult to live ones life, feed ones family, and even work in a job, without
accommodating the structure. Our very participation in the present world promotes its continued existence which includes all of its attendent problems. Our working for the company that refuses to pay a livable wage to its poorest workers helps that company to survive. Such accommodation in a sense promotes the present evil world. We support the system as we live in the system. We cannot really live in this system and totally separate.

The Sabbath command makes provision for this by stating “six days you labor, but the Seventh-day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God.” If I may paraphrase, six days you go ahead and live in the system, but on the Seventh-day you radically break from it by not working (Exodus 20:10) and not buying and selling (Neh 13:14).

This constitutes an economic boycott that reminds the Sabbath keeper (and those who are in relationship with her) that the present world is not all there is. It reminds the Sabbath keeper
that the vision of the Sabbath with its basic idea that all are equal and all are to take part and be blessed by it will ultimately overcome the present world as the Kingdom of God is fully made evident. The Sabbath reminds us that while we are living in the system, this system is not God’s ideal or God’s will. The Sabbath reminds us that this present order is not what God intends. The Sabbath reminds us that the ultimately our responsibilities are to God and not to the system that oppresses us and others. that oppressive system that we have rightfully named Babylon.

The Sabbath pushes us to disengage from the world at least one day a week. The Sabbath-keeping church must show the weakness of the present order by disengaging from it. This will demonstrate to the world that this is not all there is. Our disengagement from the present order reminds us all that God’s kingdom will overtake and overcome eventually. This disengagement includes total separation from the present world on that one day as well as much separation as possible on other days.

This disengagement is not a passivity in the world. We would fight those things that are not in line with the vision of the Sabbath, but the disengagement helps us to find the vision and gain strength to fight anything that is not in line with the vision the Sabbath gives us.

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living the sabbath, Sabbath Studies, Text Articles


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