Sabbath \ SA – bihth \ noun

A special day of resting that we think we’re bigger than, even though God is not.

from Crazy Talk: A Not-So-Stuffy Dictionary of Theological Terms (2008)

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Rejoice out loud to God, our strength! Shout for joy to Jacob’s God! Take up a song and strike the drum! Sweet lyre along with harp! Blow the horn on the new moon, at the full moon, for our day of celebration! Because this is the law for Israel; this is a rule of Jacob’s God. He made it a decree for Joseph when he went out against the land of Egypt, when I heard a language I did not yet know:

“I lifted the burden off your shoulders; your hands are free of the brick basket! In distress you cried out, so I rescued you. I answered you in the secret of thunder. I tested you at the waters of Meribah. Selah Listen, my people, I’m warning you! If only you would listen to me, Israel. There must be no foreign god among you. You must not bow down to any strange deity. I am the Lord your God, who brought you up from Egypt’s land. Open your mouth wide—I will fill it up!”

Psalm 81:1-10

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Much of the Biblical narrative is about God’s ever-faithful attempts to help us to understand God’s love for us and humanity’s continual wandering farther away from and closer to that enduring love. That’s our story too! Today’s reading reminds us of this once again.

Face it, we’re going to get it wrong; everyone does at some point. This psalm helps us to see the “why” of Sabbath more clearly. Pausing our lives, in some intentional way, helps us to remember how God has been with us in our past and to remind us again that God is in our present and will be with us in our future. When we remember that, we’re renewed to better be an active participant of God’s story in our world.

Tony Vincent

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God, thanks for reminding me again that if I pause and look for you in my life, I’ll find that you’re there. You’re always there, giving me what I need to be the person you want me to be. What a gift! Amen.

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Words of life, words of hope
give us strength, help us cope;
in this world where’er we roam
God’s ancient words will guide us home.

from “Ancient Words” by Lynn Deshazo (2001)

Tony Vincent

Tony Vincent is Associate Minister at Trinity Baptist Church in Seneca, South Carolina. A native of South Carolina, Tony holds degrees from the University of South Carolina and the M. Christopher White School of Divinity at Gardner-Webb University. Tony is married to Kristen and they have twin daughters, who will soon begin kindergarten.

Making Space: Making Space

Carter Harrell

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