Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Sabbath, Southern Style

Yesterday's food:

03/04/11 Bed at 10:30 pm/up at 9:00 am
God time? Yes
[P] Egg white
[P] Salami
[V] Brussels sprouts
[V] Tomatoes
[V] Zucchini
[F] Apple
[F] X
[F] X
[St] Kashi
[St] Rice
[D] Skim milk
[D] Skim milk
[Sn] Nightfood bar
[Sn] *+Four home-made cookies
[Nightfood bar]
[W] Four cups (including tea w/ creamer)

Yesteray I got an e-mail from my pastor about the upcoming Sabbath experiment. I thought the contents (see below) were pretty cool. We haven't gotten down to the concrete guidelines yet, but here's an excerpt of Sabbath "flavor, " Jeff-style (edited very lightly by moi, of course): 

"First off, most people have the wrong idea about the Sabbath. The Sabbath is not a day for me to focus on me and making me happy, and whatever I do to make me happy on the Sabbath helps me and my health. Catch all the "me" in that sentence?  The Sabbath is not a "good idea" because human beings need rest, so take it or leave it (like that extra helping of broccoli). We do need rest. But the Sabbath is a commandment."

"Second, from what I've read by rabbis and the like, the Sabbath exists in order to arrange our entire week. Like a great big couch in a living room, all the other pieces have to be positioned to accommodate its "primacy," Setting a day aside for God makes the whole week holy."

"Third, when it comes to rules, the basic notion is to "not exert dominance over the world."  We are to stop trying to "be God" for ourselves and let God Almighty take care of us.  The Sabbath is a day for worship, meditation, study, forgiving people, forgiving yourself, having conversations about how good God is, etc. The Sabbath is NOT a day for bullying ourselves, taking focus off of God by focusing on rules, or for shaming other people who won't be observing it. The easiest way to observe the Sabbath is live on a farm in the Depression Era South: You're in church all day, so [there's] no work.  But we'll have to figure out some rules for ourselves."

I think that can stand on it's own for a blog entry, don't you?

BTW, my pastor is Southerner Jeffrey E. Bryan from Springfield Presbyterian Church in Springfield, PA. Come on down and worship with us, won't you?

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