Willimon on the Sabbath

“In Sabbath, we are commanded to take the time that is required for the reflection, remembrance, and rest that is the prerequisite for faithful, responsive action in praise of God…In simply withdrawing from what the world considers its ‘important business,’ in taking time to do nothing but worship in a world at war, in celebrating an ‘order of worship’ in a world of chaos, Christians are making a very ‘political’ statement. It takes courage to take time to worship God in a world where we are constantly told that it is up to use to do right, or right won’t be done. Sunday is that holy time when Christians perform one of our most radical, countercultural, peculiarly defining acts – we simply refuse to show up for work. Sabbath is how we put the world in its place. This is how we take over the world’s time and help make it God’s time. We remind ourselves that we are created, not for ceaseless work, but for worship, rest in God. Rest is eschatological. Extricated from the daily, pressing, relentless cares and concerns of the parish, the pastor is given the opportunity for reflection and recollection, recalling why we are in ministry in the first place, to whom we are ultimately accountable, and where our ministry is meant to be heading. We serve God, but we are not gods…We have been created, not for ceaseless activity, but for rest, for confident Sabbath” (William Willimon, Pastor, 328-330).



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