Sabbath Holiness


“Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy.” Again ancient words reach us at a time, at once contemporary and post-modern, the fracturing and the integrating, in which the need to remember crashes in upon an actively diverting mind. That the divine rested upon the first sabbath indicates already the connection between holiness, time and rest. What is essential here is that these three: holiness, time and rest form an indivisible unity that reaches into the mind of the divine, into the word issued by the divine, into the Original Word that created what is. In creating day and night, that is, in creating time, the divine word has granted time the quality of holiness, grounding it in the eternity of the divine itself, and setting it apart from what is perceived by all the senses of the human. That which is eternal is grasped in a state of rest, in the “now” of Paul Tillich’s eternal now. Because what is contemporary and post-modern constantly struggle against itself to integrate the fractured, the call to remember become a call to return to the Original Unity. Remember, re-member, is the call to make whole again that which is broken. In the Eucharist act, after breaking and blessing the bread, Jesus says, “This is my body, broken for you — do this to remember me.” Remembering is the integration of that which is broken, a way of distinguishing from dis-membering. To remember the sabbath is a call to a place of Original Unity, the place where creation and redemption are indistinguishable. It is a call to the human to uncover the divine hidden in the ordinariness of rest.

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