Volume 12, Issue 2: Verbatim
Quotations on the Sabbath
But Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly, because it is the first day on which God, having wrought a change in the darkness and matter, made the world; and Jesus Christ our Saviour on the same day rose from the dead.
And after the observance of the Sabbath, let every friend of Christ keep the Lord's Day as a festival, the resurrection-day, the queen and chief of all the days. Looking forward to this, the prophet declared, "To the end, for the eighth day," on which our life both sprang up again, and the victory over death was obtained in Christ. . .
All the great motifs of our Christian faith are underscored in our Sabbath keeping. Its Ceasing deepens our repentance for the many ways that we fail to trust God. Its Resting strengthens our faith in the totality of His grace. . . . Its Feasting heightens our sense of eschatological hope-the joy of our present experience of God's love and its foretaste of the Joy to come.
I am so busy. We say this to one another with no small degree of pride, as if our exhaustion were a trophy, our ability to withstand stress a mark of real character. The busier we are, the more important we seem to ourselves and, we imagine, to others. To be unavailable to our friends and family, to be unable to find time for the sunset, to whiz through our obligations without time for a single, mindful breath, this has become the model of a successful life.
Is it not possible that one reason for the spiritual weakness of the church is her failure to honour God on the Lord's day? Is it not possible that one reason our churches are not more effective in reaching the lost is because we are not practicing the Sabbath-keeping that brings us victory? Could this be true of us as individuals as well? . . . We lack victory because we have failed to recognize and utilize one of the God-given means of victory.
Come unto me, all you that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
What Jesus was doing on the Sabbath was certainly in conflict with the Jewish interpretation of the law, even as we find it in the so-called halacha. . . . But Jesus' actions were not in conflict with the law itself. On the contrary, what He did on the Sabbath and what He said about the Sabbath corresponded completely to that joy and restoration characterizing the Sabbath day prescribed in the Old Testament.
We rejoice in the festivity of a perfect sabbath on the eight day, which is also the first.
Hilary of Poitiers
The Sabbath is a patch of ground secured by a tiny fence, when we withdraw from the endless choices afforded us and listen, uncover what is ultimately important, remember what is quietly sacred. Sabbath restrictions on work and activity actually create a space of great freedom.
This day my Saviour rose,
And did enclose this light for his:
That as each beast his manger knows,
Man might not of his fodder miss.
Christ hath took on this piece of ground,
And made a garden there for those
Who want herbs for their wound.
The rest of our Creation
Our great Redeemer did remove
With the same shake, which at his passion
Did th' earth and all things with it move.
As Samson bore the doors away,
Christ's hands, though nail'd wrought our salvation,
And did unhinge that day. . . .
Thou art a day of mirth:
And where the week-days trail on ground,
Thy flight is higher, as thy birth.
O let me take thee at the bound,
Leaping with thee from sev'n to sev'n,
Till that we both, being toss'd from earth,
Fly hand in hand to heav'n!