Sabbath

Sharing the Fruits of our Labour #NaPoWriMo2017 #GloPoWriMo2017

For six years sow your fields
and harvest the crops,
During the seventh
let them lie unploughed and unused;
Do the same with your vineyards
and your olive groves;
Then the poor among your people
may get food from it,
And the wild animals
may eat what is left;
For the seventh year is to be
a year of sabbath rest,
A sabbath to the Lord.

When you reap the harvest
of your land,
Do not reap to the very edges
of the field,
Nor gather the gleanings
of your harvest.
Do not go over your vineyard
a second time,
Nor pick up the grapes
that have fallen:
Leave them for the poor
and the foreigner.
I am the Lord your God.

The Na/GloPoWriMo Day 22 prompt at NaPoWriMo.net challenge us to write a georgic. The original georgic poem was written by Virgil, and while it was ostensibly a practical and instructional guide regarding agricultural concerns, it also offers political commentary on the use of land in the wake of war. The georgic was revived by British poets in the eighteenth century, when the use of land was changing both due to the increased use of enlightenment farming techniques and due to political realignments such as the union of England, Scotland, and Wales. The georgic can be a simple set of instructions on how to grow or care for something, but it could also incorporate larger themes as to how land should be used (or not used), or for what purposes.

The lines above draw inspiration from the laws given to Israel and recorded in the bible’s Old Testament books of Exodus and Leviticus.

Quotes on Sabbath Rest

“Sabbath, in the first instance, is not about worship. It is about work stoppage. It is about withdrawal from the anxiety system of Pharaoh, the refusal to let one’s life be defined by production and consumption and the endless pursuit of private well-being.”
― Walter Brueggemann

“Most of the things we need to be most fully alive never come in busyness. They grow in rest.”
― Mark Buchanan, The Holy Wild: Trusting in the Character of God

“I rarely feel such clear signs of fatigue and anxiety on days that are filled with travel, meetings and assignments—only when I stop to rest. Without sabbath, I would be dangerously ignorant of the true condition of my soul.”
― Andy Crouch, Playing God: Redeeming the Gift of Power

“A great benefit of Sabbath keeping is that we learn to let God take care of us — not by becoming passive and lazy, but in the freedom of giving up our feeble attempts to be God in our own lives.”
― Marva J. Dawn, Keeping the Sabbath Wholly: Ceasing, Resting, Embracing, Feasting

“Caring for the poor, resting on the Sabbath, showing hospitality and keeping the home—these are important things that can lead us to God, but God is not contained in them.”
― Rachel Held Evans, A Year of Biblical Womanhood

“Like a path through the forest, Sabbath creates a marker for ourselves so, if we are lost, we can find our way back to our center.”
— Wayne Muller, Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight in Our Busy Lives

“The new covenant radically alters the Sabbath perspective. The current believer does not first labor six days, looking hopefully towards rest. Instead, he begins the week by rejoicing in the rest already accomplished by the cosmic event of Christ’s resurrection. Then he enters joyfully into his six days of labor, confident of success through the victory which Christ has already won.”
― O. Palmer Robertson, The Christ of the Covenants

“Love always precedes repentance. Divine love is a catalyst for our turning, our healing. Where fear & threat may gain our compliance, love captures our heart. It changes the heavy burden of the “have-to’s” of imposed obedience to the “get-to’s”, a joyful response to the genuine love of God. It is in the security of this love we find Sabbath (rest).”
― Michael M. Rose

“Rest shows us who God is. He has restraint. Restraint is refraining from doing everything that one has the power to do. We must never mistake God’s restraint for weakness. The opposite is true. God shows restraint; therefore, restraint is holy.”
― Matthew Sleeth, 24/6: A Prescription for a Healthier, Happier Life

“God presents the Sabbath rest as a shelter we can enter. (Hebrews 4:1-11)”
― Charles R. Swindoll

Thursday is Verse Day @FaithUnlocked – Hebrews 4:1-11

Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands,
let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it.
For we also have had the good news proclaimed to us,
just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them,
because they did not share the faith of those who obeyed.
Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said,
“So I declared on oath in my anger,
‘They shall never enter my rest.’”
And yet his works have been finished since the creation of the world.
For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words:
“On the seventh day God rested from all his works.”
And again in the passage above he says,
“They shall never enter my rest.”
Therefore since it still remains for some to enter that rest,
and since those who formerly had the good news proclaimed to them
did not go in because of their disobedience,
God again set a certain day, calling it “Today.”
This he did when a long time later he spoke through David,
as in the passage already quoted:
“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts.”
For if Joshua had given them rest,
God would not have spoken later about another day.
There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God;
for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works,
just as God did from his.
Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest,
so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.
– Hebrews 4:1-11