Friday, January 4, 2019


God looks at you and sees that you are good.

“Choose a word for the year.” Have you heard or read that recently? I’ve seen it a lot. I don’t know if I’ll end up deciding on one and doing something with it, but the idea appeals to me. I like the idea of having a sort of theme for the year, of reminding myself to live that theme, of seeing how it connects to what I do, and using it as I make decisions on how to spend my time.

One article I read (which of course I cannot find now!) about the word of the year concept said the way to choose a word is to just think about it a while and see what comes up. I’ve been doing that for several days now. Almost against my wishes, the word “Sabbath” is rising to the top.

Why against my wishes? Because Sabbath, like so many things associated with religion, comes with a  lot of baggage, specifically a lot of rules. Even the newest discussions of Sabbath (and it has become more popular recently), seem kind of rule-laden. No technology -- that’s a big one. And of course I get it! Technology is a huge factor in deciding how to spend our time. I myself, a big reader, have seen how I read less books because I spend more time online. Even though some of that online time is also reading, it’s a different kind of reading than when you sit, read, and get absorbed by a book.

I am going to meditate more on the word Sabbath, and read more about it. One thing that immediately comes to my mind is the creation story where God established the day of Sabbath, “By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.” (Genesis 2:2,3)

As I was thinking about that story, I also recalled the recurring chorus at the end of each day’s creation, “And God saw that it was good.” Could you consider that short verse, that time of God looking back at the day, at his creation, and finding it good -- could that be Sabbath, too? Sabbath doesn’t have to be boxed into one day, one specific time period, right? I wonder.

Whether you think of it as Sabbath or not, that verse, “And God saw that it was good,” is yet another reminder of God’s love. There are all kinds of theological ramifications, theories, arguments and discussions that can be made about God seeing us and all his creation as good. There are feelings, too, that with all the sin we have inside ourselves and all the sin we see around us, it cannot be true. For me it’s helpful to remember that if one of my children does something awful, I don’t stop loving them. I still see them as good. All the more with God.

For you and me and all us humans, and for all of creation, God looked -- and looks -- at us and all that surrounds us and sees that it is good. Because love.
What can I pray for you?

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