Turns out humans are not the only ones for whom God provides a sabbath. Leviticus 25:1-7 reads:
The Lord spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai, saying: Speak to the people of Israel and say to them: When you enter the land that I am giving you, the land shall observe a sabbath for the Lord. Six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard, and gather in their yield; but in the seventh year there shall be a sabbath of complete rest for the land, a sabbath for the Lord: you shall not sow your field or prune your vineyard. You shall not reap the aftergrowth of your harvest or gather the grapes of your unpruned vine: it shall be a year of complete rest for the land. You may eat what the land yields during its sabbath – you, your male and female slaves, your hired and your bound laborers who live with you; for your livestock also, and for the wild animals in your land all its yield shall be for food.
Barbara Brown Taylor wrote (Christian Century, May 31, 2005):
“Where there is money to be made, there is no rest for the land, nor for those who live in it. Developers bulldoze the laurels by the river where the raccoons taught their babies how to fish. An entire pine forest comes down to produce the paper for this week’s Eddie Bauer catalog. People who have already run out of closet space work overtime to pay the interest on their average $9,000 credit card debts…No resistance to such ravenousness will come from those who are heavily invested in its revenue. The resistance will have to come from elsewhere, from those who live by a different rhythm because they worship a different God.”
This week, Week 3, ponder Leviticus 25:1-7 and Barbara Brown Taylor’s commentary:
- How might you be contributing to wearing out the earth? to overworking its creatures?
- Are there habits to which you could give a rest to help the earth and simplify your own life?
- What pursuit could you let go of in order to add to your own sabbath time?
- Record you responses in a journal and, if you wish, share some of your ideas with others on the Pastor’s Blog on www.mysticucc.org.
- To help the earth, go to www.macucc.org to sign up for the daily Lenten Carbon Fast e-mails.
This Lent…give it a rest.