Relaxation and rest. Reflection and confession. Good food and stories. Offerings, parties and celebrations. Loud music, camping and community. God set aside such days, weeks and years as being holy and sacred. The Jewish calendar had rhythm and purpose. Sabbath rest, refraining from work wasn’t an option. It was a command. It was a call home to hear the tender voice of God, an invitation to relax in the time and space he created to pour out his healing and presence. It was a time of remembrance. A time to tell stories of God’s wild love for his people.
Life doesn’t have to be that “same old grind.” I want my days to have that same kind of sacredness, joy and creativity as the Jewish calendar. I want to set aside the time to celebrate celebrate what God’s done and is still doing by sharing meals and conversation with friends and family. When I go to church, I can push away the events of the week long enough to let the sound of voices and instruments praising God wash over me and set my attention on him. I want to take the time to be still long enough to soak in the fact that He loves me no matter what. There are an infinite number of ways, large and small to celebrate God’s love. I pray I am more intent on celebrating.
When the hard days arrive, God’s grace will be at work and I can agree with the Psalmist who wrote, “You turned my wailing into dancing. You removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!” Psalm 30:11-12.