Saturday, October 14, 2006

Pleading the Fourth

I've got a pair of holy pants. Not holey (full of holes) -- holy. They're gray and fuzzy and a bit baggy, which makes them incredibly comfortable (if not the most fashionable). I usually wear the holy pants on Saturday mornings, after I've slept in for a little while. They serve to keep me warm and comfortable as I lounge around the house, eat breakfast with my children... maybe enjoy a leisurely shave, if I feel like it. And other such holy activities.

At some point, the holy pants find their way back to the wardrobe, and I choose other attire to continue my day of holiness. I may enjoy a bicycle ride over to the bakery for some fresh sacred raisin bread. Or I may walk with my son to the Coffee Company to enjoy a Bambino Marz with a blueberry muffin. Later on, if the day allows, I may read a copy of the NRC Next while eating a holy lunch consisting of my own personal adaptation of Mr. Spot's philly cheesesteaks, with some Dr. Pepper... And napping, well, napping is almost a requisite element of my weekly day of holiness.

Perhaps these activities do not fit the traditional understanding of the word holiness. You may even think that I'm spouting heresy in the above paragraphs. However, I've come to believe that this is exactly what holiness means in the context of my life. These activities are holy because they are set apart. Called out. Separate. Protected. They remind me of the joys of life and the goodness of my Creator. These basic activities refresh me and renew me and bring a sense of balance back into my life, after a weary week of work. In short, they are sacred expressions of the Sabbath in my life in 21st Century Amsterdam.

Exodus 20:8-11 says to “Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God... For in six days the Lord made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy." And even though I am not a legalist -- and I do not advocate pharasaical implementation of Sabbath practicalities -- I do believe that God created us with a need to rest. And as I've grown in my own experience and understanding of Sabbath rest, it becomes a more and more treasured part of my life -- and indeed, my Saturdays become holy days.

Should it be any other way?


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