The Jazz Theologian

The Jazz Theologian

The Monday Connection–Sabbath

Theologically we know that Jesus is ultimately our Sabbath rest and that we should not judge each other based upon our observance of it:

"These are a shadow of the things that were to come:  the reality, however, is found in Christ."  Col. 2.16

Practically, how do we experience Jesus as our rest each day?  I think that there is merit to "Remembering the Sabbath and keeping it holy," not in a legalistic manner, but as a means of discovering the reality of Christ.  If we lose sight of the object then perhaps we return to the shadow until we find the object again.

So my question is two fold:  Have you/do you practice the Sabbath and what do (or not do) you do during that day?  How have been able to experience Jesus as your Sabbath each day of the week?

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Ryan Carter

posted June 11, 2007 at 10:36 am

Honestly, I personally have trouble reconciling the idea of the sabbath and our somewhat contrary modern way of life. When we “remember the sabbath” does this include feeding kids, and other “essential” daily chores? Perhaps the focus is on an attitude of rest and worship, and not “what can be done on Sunday.” It seems that the key is in what we spend time on and what is going on inside us because of it, but I still grapple with the idea somewhat.

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posted June 11, 2007 at 12:36 pm

I think Ryan’s right on when he says the goal of Sabbath is an attitude of rest and worship, sitting at the feet of Jesus so to speak. I think all the “rules” for Sabbath– do this, don’t do that– are intended to get us to that place. And so that would look different for each one of us, since our callings, walks with Christ, etc. are unique.
Certainly there are things we know we should do as part of finding rest in Jesus (prayer, time in Scripture, acts of service…). Several months ago, it began to bug me that I never seemed to have any personal, UNINTERRUPTED time with Jesus (you know how it is when there are little kids in the family). But I would spend hours each week commuting to school and work. So now, my car is my sancutary. Yeah, it’s not ideal. But any time I’m driving, that’s His time, and His alone.

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posted June 12, 2007 at 3:43 pm

Ryan and Doodle,
Sabbath begins in the heart doesn’t it? I know in ancient times and modern Jewish communities that there are a number of things you do and don’t do that can be helpful. Such as preparing meals the day before and the such. But I agree that it’s ultimately not what we are doing but why we are doing it. Additionally, there should be the added dimension of rest. We can take time off and rest because we serve a sovereign God who can keep things going without us!

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tim atwater

posted June 14, 2007 at 9:15 am

hi all,
new to this site (wandere in via the Jesus Creed site)– loving it’s scope… as a v amateurish jazz theologian, i approach Sabbath w Abraham Joshua Heschel’s The Sabbath (“a palace in time”) — the footnotes from the rabbinic midrash Heschel quotes actually call the Sabbath ‘resurrection life’ and ‘life eternal’ not exact quotes from memory but v close …
Ellington’s Come Sunday — esp the Newport version of Black Brown and Beige (essentially Work Song and Come Sunday)w Mahalia Jackson singing like an angel —
And… my my pastoral blue monday fly-fishathons… (catch and release, approximating garden rules)
Sabbath all week — concurrent w the Sabbath/Jubilee years themes — accentuated by Jesus from the preface and theme in Luke (1 My soul magnifies… 4:18-19… the Spirit of the Lord is…) and… in John’s gospel (i believe) the theme is essentially realized Jubilee/Sabbath… w Jesus the Lord of the Sabbath and Jubilee –Luke and John accentuate alt sides of the same Sabbath tune… Rest and Redistribution — Regeneration and Restoration —
and yes it can be a struggle to claim these blessings…
what is so radical as a day a year a season of sheer rest in Christ?
and what would it take to get some of this for everyone??

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posted June 16, 2007 at 6:41 pm

I see I’m late to this, Robert, but let me drop something anyway! I wrote something about it a while ago & think that what I wrote still covers my basic position. (
I put my routine wage-earning work aside by sunset Friday and don’t pick it back up until sunset Saturday has passed. Customarily join in Sabbath services or other Christian fellowship at some point between Friday night and Saturday evening. Leave my schedule open for hands-on service or ministry. Devote myself to more intense Bible study than I do during the workweek. Nap. Reconnect with those I love. Pray for those I don’t like so much :grin:. And I recommit my entire life to God as the Sabbath closes one week and the oncoming day begins another. It’s far from a passive day for me, but it’s not my average order of active either. It’s a temporal oasis.
Hebrews 4 says that there remains a rest for us, a rest that God offers us all. So each conversation and encounter I have with Him now is relationship-building. It prepares me to receive and participate in that soon-coming and final Rest. Thus each Sabbath is pre-Rest preparation: learning to become still, comfortable, and contented in His presence, dissociating from whatever prevents me from prioritizing Him, plugging back into the Source that allows me to run around all week long, and freshly acknowledging His authority over everything I am, own, love, touch, and do. All that really isn’t burdensome and if somehow it is, it shouldn’t be (Matt 12/Mark 2).
I perceive Sabbath as representing my creation (Gen 2:1-3, Exod 20:8-11), my redemption (Deut 5), and my coming restoration (Isa 58, 66). It’s a sign which reminds me that God is God and I am His: it’s a call to live in love and in balance, and I think it’s pretty cool. Can ya tell?! :-)

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posted June 16, 2007 at 6:44 pm

…live in love and balance every single day…

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Sherman Haywood Cox II

posted June 18, 2007 at 10:27 am

Well…I am actually a Sabbath-keeper. A Jazz-7th day theologian, if you please…I have thought theologically about the issue and see the Sabbath as serving 3 major functions:
First the Sabbath is a Full Participation in Coming Kingdom. Here the Sabbath provides time to live as if the Kingdom of God has been more fully realized.
The Sabbath also is a time for Disengagement from the Present World. Here is a time to more fully separate from a world bent on destruction so that we can come back to that world with added vigor and faith that what we do does matter.
Next, I see in the Sabbath a Celebration of our Communities. Here we spend time with our families and larger families to strengthen the bond between us and recognize that we do really need each other.
Finally we have seen how contemplation of the creation that the Sabbath Celebrates helps us to victory. For the Sabbath is a celebration of the creative power of God. (The fourth Commandment calls for us to remember it becuase God is creator) Thus, it is a time to celebrate God’s mastery over all things. God’s creative power is the power to make something out of nothing. In essense we are celebrating God’s creativity and improvisational skills.
All of these things point to the Sabbath being more than just a day that we rest on, but a mindset that informs us as we live every day. I can truly sing that old song that we don’t sing anymore, Don’t Forget The Sabbath. If you forget the Sabbath you lose something that will help you through the dark night we find ourselves in.

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ronnie johnson

posted June 19, 2007 at 6:33 am

Please read my latest devotional and give me a critique……….I pray for you each week to have unction, wisdom strength and empowerment…it’s fun sitting on the sideline and watching you coach….I love you.

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nancy whitworth

posted September 13, 2007 at 1:58 pm

There used to be a weekly worship service at the World Prayer Center called Lunch with the Lord. It was one hour of worship only and it was a beautiful place to meet the King of Kings. It was the highlight of my week. I learned so much and was so free to let go of me and focus on God. His presence came each time as I left the thoughts and cares of this world and worshiped Him from my heart. It was like He took me away and loved my songs of praise. (ask anyone else and they would ask me to please be quiet). As He came close to my inmost being, many times I would cry..not sad tears..but cleansing tears. even though I determined to JUST worship, not ask Him anything, God would bring out burdens or pains I was holding and He would lift them from me. He is so sweet and faithful.
You ask how did I prepare?
Private worship seems to prepare for worship with a group. Also a time of allowing the Holy Spirit to search my heart for sins and stains from the world. (confession and repentance). Also, isn’t it a goal to have constant communication with Our Lord? I guess we would always be ready for worship if we could do that.

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