Sermon Notes – September 18 2022

Reclaiming Sabbath as Rest and Justice

Scriptures:  Exodus 20:8-11, Deuteronomy 5:12-15, Luke 6:1-7
Sermon by Rev. Dr. Sue Coller, September 18, 2022

What comes to mind when you hear the word “Sabbath?  Did you grow up with any sense of honoring the Sabbath?  If so, what did that look like?

What do you think of what Walter Bruggemann said?

“Sabbath affirms the worth and dignity of all creatures, and especially the human creature.  Thus there are limits put on human beings as instrumental means to other ends.  It is a day of special dignity when God’s creatures can luxuriate in being honored ends, and not mobilized means to anything beyond themselves.”

The Exodus reading gives the creation story as motivation for remembering the Sabbath. Knowing that God created humanity as the climax of creation and called us good, what kind of insight does that give you into God’s motivation for asking us to join in a day of rest?

The Deuteronomy reading gives the exodus story as motivation for remembering the Sabbath.  How does that serve to remind you of who God created you to be?  How does it challenge you to think of yourself, and others, separate from what you do?

Both Old Testament readings emphasize that the call to rest was not just for those with means, but also for those without means.  How can you support someone who doesn’t think they can afford to take a break?

Jesus brought the matter of justice to the conversation about Sabbath.  How does that change the say you think of practicing Sabbath?

How can you enhance the practice of Sabbath in your own life?

  1. What new habits will you embrace?
  2. What old habits do you need to terminate?
  3. What social conventions do you need to disengage from?
  4. What patterns do you need to break that lead to exhaustion, forgetfulness, or injustice?
  5. And what new ways of living and relating will you embrace?

Tell someone what you intend to do to enhance the practice of Sabbath in your life, and ask them to hold you accountable.


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