The Way of Sabbath – Lent 2023

Our society does not give much heed to Sabbath any more, but as recently as a generation ago, Sunday was a special day. On Sunday we wore our very best clothes to church and ate a fancy Sunday dinner in the middle of the day. In the afternoon, we played croquet in the back yard while Dad listened to the ball game on the radio. Stores were closed. Relatives came to visit.

We were practicing what theologian Abraham Joshua Heschel calls menuha – peace, quiet, rest. We were sanctifying time, immersing ourselves in Sabbath.

To observe Sabbath, says Heschel, is not merely to obey the strictness of a divine command. It is to “celebrate the creation of the world and to create the seventh day all over again, the majesty of holiness in time, a day of rest, a day of freedom.”

God not only called us to cease our labors on Sabbath but also to delight in God’s blessings. “not only the hands of man celebrate the day,” says Heschel, “the tongue and the soul keep the Sabbath.”

Using Heschel’s book The Sabbath, in our five-week study we will explore Sabbath as “a day on which we are called upon to share in what is eternal in time, to turn from the results of creation to the mystery of creation.”

We will meet on Zoom for five Thursdays, February 23 through March 23, 4 to 5:15 p.m. (Central time).

The material will also be posted on this website for use by individuals or congregational small groups.