Exodus, Chapter 31

Tuesday, July 7

Read

Exodus, Chapter 31

Reflect

One of you shared a COVID-19 joke with me:

“Until further notice, the days of the week are now called
Thisday, Thatday, Otherday, Someday,
Yesterday, Today, and Nextday!”

Staying at home has meant losing all sense of time and rhythm. It has meant sleep schedules being demolished. I’ve found myself waking at 3:00 in the morning, tossing and turning until I finally get up to read and pray. I still have time to turn on a baseball game from last summer and eat a snack, and the sun hasn’t come up yet.

I’ve been looking for silver linings in this season.  Here’s a suggestion: the ordinary rhythm of days of the week is a gift. “And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.” In the evening we settle down and at night we sleep; in the morning we awake and go about our labors; one day out of seven we rest from our labors.

In Exodus 31, God reminds the Israelites, as the preparations for the Tabernacle are concluding, that holy spaces – worship spaces – need holy times. The Sabbath day is one day in seven, every week, set apart to sanctify us. I’m not one to give too many prescriptions, but I will give you an eager suggestion: keep Sunday as the Sabbath Day, or the Lord’s Day. If the Israelites could keep it in the wilderness, with no Temple to visit, I suppose that we can do the same.

Remember the Sabbath day, even if we can’t gather. Do no work. Set your own personal or family times. Rise at the same hour. Prepare a special meal. Worship online at the same time on that day. Read the Bible and pray at the same time each Sunday, praying for church leaders, civic leaders, and all people who feel angry or alienated. Undertake some act of faithfulness each Sunday – call someone who might be lonely, or write someone.

I’ve heard it said that the Sabbath keeps us more than we keep the Sabbath. The other days of the week might be mush, but Sundays can be the Lord’s Day, sanctuary or not.

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