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Reflection for the Week

Keep Holy the Sabbath

There’s no better way to deepen our Lenten practice than to review the Ten Commandments. The first three, having to do with our right relationship to God, get the most ink. The one we busy people probably have the most problem with is keeping holy the Sabbath.

If we take this commandment literally, babies will go undiapered and dishes will stay on the table, or perhaps meals will not be served. The sick will go unattended and nothing that has anything to do with physical labor will be done. Is mental labor really work? How about changing that dirty diaper (poor baby!)?

We need to depend on God to discern how to observe real Sabbath time in our lives. The point of this commandment is that God has given us a great gift: one whole day per week when we are free to rest, worship God, sing, feast, love, and rejoice. As Psalm 19 proclaims: “The law of the Lord is perfect, / refreshing the soul” (19:8). Our Sabbath rest is a great gift, to be received from God with joy, not with nitpicking.

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