Monday, March 03, 2008

Secular Sabbath

The Secular Sabbath article, in the New York Times surprised me. I had designed a web page outlining the concept of Futurism of the 8th-Day three years ago. Although it does not use the words "secular sabbath" it outlines just that very concept. In it I define the secular sabbath as

  • Eighth-Day Futurism is embodied in an abstract day of meditation, contemplation, acts of charity, positive action and beauty. This Eighth day can occur during any of the days of the week and, if a full 24-hour period is not available, should consist of at least three or six or nine hours of your day.
In a similar vein, I wrote a blog post containing the words "secular sabbath" dated December 27, 2006. Technically, however, it was about a spiritual sabbath, but with some flexibility as to when the Sabbath started and ended, or continued for those with time, discipline or need for it to do so.

In my post I have a link connecting readers to A Never-Ending Perfect Day with a publish date of July 01, 2006. Even though the leeway I mention is not as strict as the 24-hour secular sabbath the New York Times writer spells out, I'm surprised about the concept of a secular sabbath being tossed around on blogs.

I continue to practice the eternal sabbath, as I now refer to it in my devotions, to make up for the bi-monthly demand of my employers for me to work on the Sabbath. When I didn't have to work every other Sabbath, I didn't appreciate it as much. Now I celebrate the Sabbath at sundown on Fridays, continue it Saturday morning before work, continue it during my breaks during my work day, pick it up again after I leave work on Saturday night at 6 pm and sometimes finally say my goodbyes to the Sabbath experience when the sun rises on Sunday morning. Occasionally I enjoy the beauty of the Sabbath rest on a midnight walk with my golden retriever any day of the week and thank God for the eternal rest that awaits me in the next world.

It's nice to note that others enjoy and need a conceptual sabbath, as well. I wonder where the idea originated for non-religious folk to come up with a 24-hour break from secular demands.

God bless all Sabbath keepers in all their varieties. May he bless those that keep the strict 7th-Day Sabbath, those that keep the conceptual Sabbath (the 8th-Day Sabbath), and those that keep the secular sabbath. A sabbath is still a sabbath no matter what you call it. Some Sabbaths are more fulfilling than others. In the end, they give the rest and richness humans are seeking. God bless all our sabbath days.


ulrich said...

Lovely, meaningful piece. As contemplative solitary (hermit) the past 40 years, having a secular sabbath daily; in between performing required necessary practiccal activities.
have a list for all or no faiths at (self-realization), or a more xtian one, same address as above except /monasterion at the end.

best wishes

john (monk)

Johnny Workentine said...

Not to forget what Jesus had to say:

For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day. Matthew 12:8


Raul Batista (Varonelo) said...

Johnny, that has always been a favorite saying of mine. Only by his grace can the Sabbath be a blessing and not a burden. God bless.

Raul Batista (Varonelo) said...

John (Monk) I like the description on your meditation site. It looks like you are making a valuable contribution to the life of others judging from the regular members who've signed up and the comments they have left. God bless you in your blogging projects. All the best.