I remember David Suzuki, Canadian scientist, summing up his life work and message with a simple image. Image a test tube filled with food. It represents the earth. Image a single bacterium introduced into the test tube. Left to grow, it doubles in number every minute. In the first minute, two bacteria. In the second minute, four bacteria. Imagine it takes one hour for the bacteria to consume the entire supply of food, the point at which the bacteria themselves will die. When will the test tube be exactly half full of food and half full of bacteria? In the 59th minute. At the 59th minute, everything looks fine. Just one more minute and catastrophe will strike.
Suzuki the environmental scientist declares that we are at the 59th minute. Perhaps we are at the 59th minute spiritually also. Our lives have become overwhelmed by activity and anxiety.
It is time for us to recover the gift of the Sabbath. It is time for us to recover the discipline and delight of withdrawing and resting, of reflection and of gratitude. It takes time to connect with others, to open ourselves to the Holy. In celebrating a sabbath we find freedom, we enter into the freedom which is the gift of God … which is the point made in the version of the Ten Words recorded in Deuteronomy – ‘Observe the sabbath day and keep it holy … Remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm; therefore the Lord your God commanded you to keep the sabbath day’ (Deuteronomy 5:12-15).
Join me in practising sabbath, beginning in the worship of God!