First Week of Lent
This Lent, we are inviting the SALT community to prepare for the mystery of Easter by reading Mudhouse Sabbath. This tender, engaging book is an invitation to a life of spiritual practices such as keeping Sabbath, fasting, mourning, candle-lighting, hospitality, aging, and prayer.
“Shabbat is like nothing else. Time as we know it does not exist for those twenty-four hours, and the worries of the week soon fall away. A feeling of joy appears. The smallest object, a leaf or a spoon, shimmers in a soft light, and the heart opens. Shabbat is a meditation of unbelievable beauty.” (Mudhouse Sabbath, p. 2)
“When we cease interfering in the world we are acknowledging that it is God’s world.” (p. 7)
“But there is something in the Jewish Sabbath that is absent from most Christian Sundays: a true cessation from the rhythms of work and world, a time wholly set apart, and, perhaps above all, a sense that the point of Shabbat, the orientation of Shabbat, is toward God.” (p. 10)
Scripture for Meditation
Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude. And on the seventh day God finished the work that God had done, and God rested on the seventh day from all the work that was done. So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that had been done in creation. + Genesis 2:1-3
+ Have you ever taken a lesson (piano, guitar, violin, a foreign l anguage)? Have you ever trained for a race? Professor Winner makes the argument that faith takes practice and training - do you agree?
+ Does your faith wax and wane? Does it come and go? Do you have any rituals, practices, disciplines that help you “keep on keeping on”?
+ Have you ever tried to keep Sabbath? Have you ever set apart twenty-four full hours to rest and give thanks to God?
Practice Your Faith
+ Set aside one day this week to welcome the Sabbath Queen
+ Plan ahead – take time during the week to write down what you need to do in order to protect the Sabbath day of rest
+ When the Sabbath arrives, turn off the computer, unplug the television, live on candlelight, go star gazing, read a book with a child, have sex with your partner
+ Place on your dining room table a “Sabbath Box” to hold items not needed such as car keys, cell phones, wallets, etc.
+ Read Matthew 11:28-30 – what burdens are you carrying? Lay them down on the Sabbath and then speak out loud (or sing!) of the many reasons you have for giving thanks to God
+ Mark the end of Sabbath by lighting a candle, reading your favorite passage of scripture, and smelling sweet spices (like cinnamon and cloves) to “comfort you a little, you who are sad that Shabbat has ended.” (p. 8)
A big "thank you" to Emily Carlin for these beautiful bowls waiting to be filled...