Dear Sabbath Seekers,
Do you like anagrams? What is an anagram for silent? It’s listen. In the book of James we read that we are to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger. It is hard to listen without being silent.
I must say that in today’s world listen and its anagram silent get lost in the noise out there whether it be on the 24 hour news cycle, Facebook, blogs, or talk radio. It seems these days we only listen in order to react and quickly get angry.
And as with other biblical passages that we conveniently want to ignore in order to do things our way either by satisfying our ego’s need to be right or our first amendment need to be free to say what we want, this passage from James is counterculture.
Sabbath, too, is counterculture. Who has time these days to take a 24 hour rest? We are too busy with all our speaking, doing and trying to get ahead. And yet, let’s be clear that Sabbath was a way for God to break through our egocentric existence and command us, yes, command, to be quiet and let silence do the heavy lifting for 24 hours. (BTW I continue to be amazed at the number of Christians who state publicly that don’t like God telling them what to do! They are pretty clear that they know what is better for them than God does…but I digress).
Without Sabbath not only do we never stop but the noise never stops either. We stay continually off-balance listening for the next news break, comment on Facebook or ad hominem attack on the radio. There is no time to listen to God, to our souls, to our inner wisdom. If the world is any indication of what happens when we don’t take Sabbath time, then I say we should start obeying that fourth commandment ASAP!
“Be still and know that I am God” Psalm 46.10