the peace of subversive sabbath

Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day. (Deuteronomy 5:15)

"Slaves cannot skip a day of work, but free people can. Not all free people choose to do so, however; some of us remain glued to our computers and washing machines every day of the week. To keep sabbath is to exercise one's freedom, to declare oneself to be neither a tool to be employed--an employee--nor a beast to be burdened. To keep sabbath is also to remember one's freedom and to recall the One from whom that freedom came, the One from whom it still comes...
To insist on sabbath is to give testimony to the subversive knowledge that God's bias is in favor of freedom. Over the centuries, prophets from Isaiah to labor organizers have kept alive the liberating song of sabbath, even when some leaders, religious as well as political, have preferred not to hear it.
The two songs that resonate in the sabbath commandment call sabbath keepers into a dance that embodies fundamental affirmations about God's relationship to humanity: God is the generous creator who sanctifies time and the liberator who requires human beings to deal mercifully with one another."
Dorothy C. Bass Receiving the Day: Christian Practices for Opening the Gift of Time

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