Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Busy Sabbaths

The following is an excerpt from the Church of England newspaper:

"Playdough, barbed wire, ropes and chains are all possible objects you might like to have in your possession while exploring the concept of the Sabbath in the 21st century, a new book by the Church of England says. Life Balance, outlines a five session course on work, rest and play for Lent and attempts to re-examine the Bible’s teaching on the Sabbath. Session five looks at Sabbath principles of liberation and lists a range of objects that provide visual focus for this theme. Skateboarders are listed among other apparent images of freedom such as barbed wire and chains. A recipe for making playdough is described, and intended for those ‘who respond through craft and learn in different ways.’
Traditionally the Sabbath has been a day of rest — a misconception, the book states, that the started in Victorian times. Instead it proposes Sunday should be an active day where people should draw up a list of ‘favourite things’ to do. The book says: “Sabbath is not so much a day for not doing things but rather a day for doing the really important things: giving and receiving rather than buying and selling; enjoying the goodness and reality of God’s presence and the beauty of his world.” Worshippers are invited to ‘rediscover the rhythms of work rest and play’ by engaging in Sabbath moments which the book says can be done in ‘idle’ moments of the day like ‘waiting at traffic lights’. It recommends keeping a ‘Sabbath notebook’ where moments of experiencing ‘Sabbath attitudes’ should to be recorded. This might be an instant when one suddenly appreciates the value and importance of life.
Prayers are included in the book for those who are ‘smug and self important’ and ‘when we think that we ourselves are God’. The book highlights that in an a frenetic age of materialism we need to reconnect with the true meaning of the Sabbath and a find a ‘spiritual dimension’ to life. The Bishop of Reading, the Rt Rev Stephen Cottrell backs the course. He said: “Keeping the Sabbath holy isn’t just another commandment conveniently forgotten in the society that loves being busy. It is a gift from God in Creation, a way of restoring balance to life.”
–Church of England Newspaper

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