Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Rediscovering Sabbath

One of the themes of the book that I am dreaming about writing is the rediscovery of the meaning of Sabbath. If you ask most Christians, they will tell you that Sabbath is a day off work or a day to go to church. You might even find some who will talk about the era when shops weren't open or people didn't play sport or go to the movies on Sundays. However the Biblical notion of Sabbath is far greater than any of these ideas.

One of the fundamental principles of Sabbath is universal equality. Everyone gets to rest on this day - from the richest landowner to the poorest slave. Even the animals on the family farm get a break when sabbath comes around! Sabbath exists as a regular reminder that none of us is better than another and all share a kind of interdependence.

This becomes even more evident when we see that in the Sabbath year, the fields are rested (so even the earth gets a break) and slaves are released. The pinnacle of the Sabbath principle is the Jubilee year when a distributive notion of justice really tests the religious convictions of the people. This principle recognises that over time in any society, some people fall and some rise - not always from their own fault or to their own credit. So in the Jubilee year, land is redistributed to its original owners in a radical outworking of economic grace. Now there's an idea with some inherent challenges for us...

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey Jason, consider this an order for 10 copies of your soon to be written book.:-)
Kathryn

JDK said...

What? Only 10 copies?