Friday, September 7, 2012

A Special Way

I am not sure when the weekend became a time to unplug from the digital world for me, but it has. 

On the weekend, I don’t check the blogs I follow.  I don’t check my email.  I don’t get on Facebook. 

(Okay, occasionally I will get on the computer to check an address for the dinner we’re headed to, or to double check the time I said I would meet someone.  But this is the exception, and other than that, I am unplugged.)

I don't remember when I began this habit, but I do remember why I decreased my use of technology on the weekend.  I wanted a break from the feeling that a minute had become an hour. 

I wanted to create space in my life for important things—like real conversation, exploring the fun events going on in the world around me, invest in my relationship with Jason, and slow down to take notice of all the good things that God has given me. 

I wanted to find rest in Him.

For me the practice of disconnecting has led to real Sabbath. 

I leave behind the crazy pace of the online world and slow to the pace of the one I live in. 

This practice is one that I use to “honor” the Sabbath.

One of the four words that is used about the Sabbath in Scripture is kevod.  It means to honor or to set something apart as special.

It is found in the Isaiah passage I mentioned last week, when talking about the word delight.

“If you  keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath
     and from doing as you please on my holy day,
if you call the Sabbath a delight
     and the LORD’s day honorable,
and if you honor it by not going your own way
     and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,
then you will find your joy in the Lord.”    Isaiah 58:13-14 NIV

My Judaism professor talked about how there is joy in things that are reserved for a special occasion.

When he said this, it brought to mind pulling out the “You are loved” plate for birthdays and special occasions in my family.  I always looked forward to those moments of finding this special plate set on the table in my place or pulling it out to set before my family members.  I was so excited when a friend gave one of these plates to me at a wedding shower.  It meant I could continue to honor loved ones in my home the way we did when I was growing up.

For me unplugging is a little bit like this—a special ritual I practice on the Sabbath.

As I revisit this particular Sabbath maxim, it makes me wish I had other special ways of celebrating Sabbath rest.  I think of what I learned about the Jewish Shabbat—the way they welcome the Sabbath with lit candles and blessings over one another.  I think these special ways of the Sabbath are beautiful.

I want to share with you a little taste of this through “Sabbath Prayer” from Fiddler on the Roof.

Notice the way the families welcome the Sabbath in such a special way.  Drink in the blessings of the song.  And this weekend when you begin your Sabbath rest, perhaps you will remember and begin by celebrating in a special way.

Grace and peace be ours in abundance as we seek to honor God, the maker and giver of rest.  May we find special ways to mark the occasion and find joy in celebrating this special gift.

Jessica :)