Reading: Leviticus 25:1-19
Take it Easy
There are some layers in this passage that could use some unpacking. Biggies we won’t chase down today are the implications of God’s obvious concern for the earth well above and beyond any concern for humanity, particularly Israel. God refers to Israel as slaves and servants and charges them with the protection of God’s possession—the earth. Take that, this-world-is-not-my-home reductionists. You’re right, but not in the way you mean it. We’re driving a borrowed car and the owner is going to be ticked that we’ve been smoking in it.
Anyway. The other major theme is God’s call for Sabbath for the earth. We’re already terrible about self-care; how are we expected to care for something external? And if we move to apply these guidelines for the earth to actual care for ourselves, what does that look like? How do you take a year of Sabbath?
Last year I got to experience that, in a way. I left local church ministry last January and intentionally spent a year out of even volunteering for a local youth ministry. My spiritual soil was severely spent. A year of complete rest. It was tempting—especially as we joined a local church last November—to recant and jump in, but I remained steadfast. As I come to each regular calendar item in this new year of ministry, it’s been two years since I last participated in it—Ash Wednesday, Lent, Holy Week approaching.
Not everyone can take that kind of break, but do you have the opportunity for dedicated, real Sabbath time? If you’re employed by the church, do you have means of restoration built in to your job description, or is the system you’re in designed to only support those who can avoid burnout?
What are your current practices of self-care? Do you have built-in down time for you and built-in sacred time with God?
What feeds you?
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