oddly enough, i’ve been asked to preach 4 times this summer. i didn’t really expect that – i haven’t preached in well over a year. i’ve agreed to 3 and i’m milling over the idea of the 4th – that particular situation will be different than the others (thus no double dipping sermons 🙂
as i think and pray about what God might have to say to the people of these churches right now, i’ve also pondered the thoughts and ideas toward which i gravitate. we have a tendency to best explain that in which we’re interested. one of my biggest fettishes is with Jewish tradition and practice, specifically keeping sabbath. i can thank lauren winner for such a love affair (also see here).
i dug out my copy of The Sabbath by Abraham Heschel, a jewish theologian. now, one might wonder why i would turn to jewish theology if speaking to a christian audience. well, that is quite simple. a christian is one who follows Christ, who tries to embody the life He lived. Jesus was jewish. obviously Jesus’ very life will change the theology, but if I want to understand Sabbath as Jesus did, then I want to start with what he was taught, then go from there.
so this guy heschel is amazing. Let’s just give you a taste:
“There is a realm of time where the goal is not to have but to be, not to own but to give, not to control but to share, not to subdue but to be in accord.” And that’s just page 1. He spends time talking about the space / time continuum in which we live, as we continually put emphasis on the space (“thinginess” he says at one point) at the expense of time.
no, that couldn’t be a word for people today. here he goes: “There is happiness in the love of labor, there is misery in the love of gain. Many hearts and pitchers are broken at the fountain of profit. Selling himself into slavery to things, man becomes a utensil that is broken at the fountain.” (yes, still page one).
so i’m not sure where it’s going. not even sure that it’ll be in the subject line. but i thought i’d share.