Harried into the Sabbath

Theology Thursday
Here's an example of what I mean by a GLE:



Part I: Learning Need

If I were actively journaling these days [which I am again, but I wasn’t when I wrote this], I would probably be able to point to all the circumstances and readings and conversations in the last three weeks which have revolved around the idea of Sabbath. In any case, there have been a lot of them, and I have simultaneously been feeling harried and frantic since just before Labor Day. The accumulation of all these events and facts have served to remind me of times when my practice of Sabbath keeping was much more disciplined, and have also made me realize how much I miss it. It is challenging to set aside a time to truly rest when both job and academics revolve around spiritual things, and the little “down time” one has must usually be dedicated to home upkeep. Furthermore, are creative hobbies “work”? God did, after all, create on the six days and stop creating (rested) on the seventh. If those are to be eschewed from true Sabbath rest, then there will never be time for those joy-giving, relaxing activities at all.

I need to revisit my understanding of Sabbath and perhaps come to a new one, or at least a clearer vision of it. I also need to re-incorporate Sabbath into my living routine.

Part II: Learning Objectives

My learning goals are for me to come to a firmer (though not more rigid) understanding of Sabbath, and to discover a way to employ that discipline which is, it seems to me, really a gift to us from God, so that I may draw closer to Him in Sabbath rest, in order to better serve Him and the people He puts in my path the rest of the time.

Part III: Learning Activities

A. Scriptural: I will examine a minimum of ten passages about Sabbath, particularly the ones where the concept of Sabbath is first introduced (including that disturbing story in Numbers where the man is killed because of carrying firewood on the Sabbath), and at least three stories about Jesus’ approach to Sabbath.

B. Cognitive: I will read Marva Dawn’s The Sense of the Call: A Sabbath Way of Life for Those Who Serve God, the Church, and the World for a Christian perspective, and Judith Shulevitz’s The Sabbath World: Glimpses of a Different Order of Time for a Jewish one. I will also consult the essay on Sabbath which Craig Blomberg (mentor) wrote for Perspectives on the Sabbath: Four Views, ed. Christopher J. Donato. I will discuss Sabbath-keeping with my brother and sister-in-law, who are Christians but lived in Israel and whose practices have been affected by that experience.

C. Experiential: Although I probably can’t discern what these will look like, exactly, until I’ve begun my study, and although technically there should be a lot more Sabbaths in the time I’ve got for this course, I will take three intentional Sabbath rests on my own during the course of this term and, if he’s agreeable to it, two with my husband as well.

D. Interactive: I will interact with my husband, my classmates at BSoE, and my mentors about what I am learning in this process. I also intend to discuss this process with my new pastor, as she has indicated it is an important spiritual discipline to her.

E. Reflective: I will reinstate my journaling habits to track what I am learning and thinking about these interactions, readings and activities, and I will complete my Integrated Learning Report for the end of this course.


6 thoughts on “Harried into the Sabbath

  1. I should do a similar GLE…..I too, have struggled with trying to keep a real sabbath…..Does doing Seminary homework count as working on the sabbath? I think it does. Maybe now that I have hired a housekeeper I can observe a sabbath on Saturdays….that is- when I am not taking care of my mother or working extra childcare jobs. Yikes!

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