Today, as I was thinking about some of the books I have read recently , I was struck by the fact that so much of the longing for justice that one sees in a certain segment of Christianity (one, I must note, that I have a lot in common with) is related to the Sabbath. The Sabbath, as it is defined in the Bible , has a lot to do with justice, the forgiveness of debt, and grace. Yet this is not how it is commonly seen at all. Rather, the Sabbath is seen as being burdensome, largely because of the way that the Pharisees (and their successors) made the Sabbath about rigorous restrictions. Despite the fact that this is not a biblical view of the Sabbath, it remains the way that people think of the Lord’s day (as Christ is Lord of the Sabbath).
I have grown up in a religious tradition in which the Sabbath has been very important. By and large, though, the Sabbath has been seen as a law that is still in effect for Christians. Examples are shown of Jesus Christ worshiping in the synagogue as was his fashion, and the Sabbath preaching of Paul and other apostles is also pointed out. All of this is true, but this line of reasoning, although it is true, is also incomplete. What ought to fire our imagination is not merely the fact that the Sabbath is commanded, and that it is commanded still, although this is so, but rather the fact that the Sabbath itself, as it is written about in the Bible, is itself a way by which we honor God and develop His justice towards other people. Pointing out the relationship of the Sabbath to these larger concerns of freedom, stewardship of God’s creation, and justice, is a way to make the Sabbath more than a duty but also a pleasure, a glorious gift not merely for ourselves, but also in our relationships.
So, that gave me the germ of an idea. The idea is that because I have written and thought about the Sabbath from a different perspective than many others, that I could share some of those thoughts in such a way that would provide some additional commentary on the Sabbath that would encourage fellow believers (and those who are curious about issues of justice and freedom as they relate to scripture) about the importance of God’s Sabbath to a just world. Looking at the many writings I have done on the subject, I have the germ of a small book, but it looks like some more work will be necessary to flesh things out a little bit. I will have to see how time and energy permit this particular project, and we will see if it can be added to my list of works, and if so, what would then be done. I suppose having such ideas is a good “problem” to deal with, even if I have quite a few projects that I am always working on. I suppose I can always add one more to the list. Now, about that project of book reviews I am working on….
 See, for example:
 See, for example: