Sunday, October 18, 2009

Finding meaning in Sabbath: Part 1

I did not get to attend Sabbath convocation last week. Nevertheless, I sought to be observant in spirit and meditate on the meaning of Sabbath.

God has made the Sabbath to give us a reminder of his creative works. This is seen in Genesis 2:3 where it says:
And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it
he had rested from all his work which God created and made

In other words, God made the Seventh day more special and set apart more than any other day. In Exodus 20:11, God tells us what is special in the day:

For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

As such, on each Sabbath day period, I seek to be Torah compliant, if not Torah observant in meditating on the spiritual meaning in this holy convocation.

Just last week, I was telling a friend of mind that in Jamaica, about the meaning that I pondered of in a previous Sabbath. I told him that I find that the Sabbaths are not as necessary in Jamaica to remind you about God as they are in prosperous Canada. In Canada, you need a reminder about God. In Jamaica, God consciousness occurs everyday. In explaining I mentioned that because of the problems in Jamaica, plus the fact that there are so many professing Christians who mention God in their conversations, one will not forget about God in Jamaica.

In Canada by contrast, people do not talk about God as much. Yet they are so discipline and problem-free.

My friend then asked
"So, what's the benefit of the Sabbath for people in Jamaica (or in one of the "good" periods of ancient Israel for that matter)?"

I responded by suggesting that the observance of the Sabbath in Jamaica makes us realise that our problems will not last for ever, as it points to the rest to come in the promised land.

In the contrast, for someone in prosperous Canada, experiencing peace and rest...Sabbath becomes an identity issue - it preserves your knowledge about God and your spiritual identity and connection with that God.

My friend replied that
"i dunno.... i never been to Canada, but... prosperity doesn't always = peace"

I replied:
Yes..but I am saying - the whole time being there, I saw no police...the people were orderly, obeyed rules and regulations. There were no mad people, street people or drug addicts on the streets. [Violent] crimes hardly reported on the local newspapers. [In fact the only crime reported during my stay was committed by a priest and it was a sexual crime - dealing with the possession of child pornography on his computer.]

[Otherwise, Canada] seemed to be a place without problems. That is what I meant by peace!

My friend replied:
"Ah!...So; how then, would you get a people in that situation to see the need for God?"

I replied:"Exactly...when you understand this, you know why churches decline in prosperous countries, and why churches abound in countries like Jamaica and Africa and Latin America."

I further went on to suggest that the "Sabbath was originally intended to help us focus on purpose. The purpose for which we were created. Thus, it is good to focus on purpose every week. This will help you to realise that there is more to life than just living comfortably."

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