This day has been chock full of delight. Overflowing with one thing— rest. Sweet, luxurious, delight filled rest.
The delight of this day did not happen because my list is all crossed off, nor due to an accidental twist of fate. In fact, unfinished chores are tucked behind closet doors and relegated to a tidy pile on my desk.
Today is our Sabbath.
I know, I know, it’s Friday. And Sabbath is traditionally either on Saturday (for Jewish observers) or Sunday (for Christians). Or not at all.
For us, the ancient practice of Sabbath is brand new. Pastors work harder and longer on Sunday than on any other day of the week. And as two people who came to faith during the anti-traditional days of the Jesus Movement of the ‘70’s, we grew into our faith believing that the Sabbath was a law that didn’t apply to us. Somehow we’d been taught that of all the Ten Commandments, that was the one we were allowed to skip.
Fast forward to this day.
I woke up early as I always do, but instead of getting out of bed, I allowed myself to burrow under the down comforter for another hour.
It’s Sabbath-- bliss.
When I finally felt wide awake and ready to face the cold, I sauntered into the kitchen, switching on all the sparkling strings of lights, and made tea. I wrapped myself in a thick shawl and carried my tea tray out to my cabin where I spent as long as I wanted curled up in my big white chair reading and listening and writing and learning.
It’s Sabbath— bliss.
No rush. No hurry. No chores or work or lists or worries.
By late morning we were getting antsy to do something so we drove a couple of miles to a delightful Scandinavian café where we relished rich coffee and baked eggs with a griddle cake topped with linden berries and crème fraiche.
It’s Sabbath— bliss.
We talked, we laughed, we planned Comer Christmas surprises, we caught up on conversations cut short during the work week. By mid-afternoon all that delightful resting made us sleepy so Phil dozed in his chair by the fire while I read a really good story. It’s Sabbath— bliss.
We went on a walk just as the sun dipped below the horizon, rambling in our dark, forested neighborhood past cottages brightened by Christmas lights. The night is cold and wintery, mysterious and quiet. Stars in the sky reminding us of that first Christmas when Shepherds first heard the news we celebrate.
Now we’re rummaging around the kitchen heating up left overs, getting ready to watch a Christmas movie. Cinnamon candles lend softness to the inside of our cozy home.
For one whole day we have stopped. We have rested. We have worshipped and consciously chosen not to indulge in worry or work or anything that might take away the wonder of this day.
It’s Sabbath. One day in seven for worship and for rest. For bliss.
From a heart quieted by the delight of Sabbath,
P.S. Have you yet responded to the invitation to Sabbath? If you want to know more, I highly recommend my son’s book, Garden City: Work, Rest, and the Art of Being Human. He details his family’s Sabbath rhythm as well as unpacking what the Scriptures teach.