Defining Acts

This is from Hauerwas and Willimon’s book on the Ten Commandments.  It’s one of the things I’m turning over for tomorrow.  Before this quote, the chapter (on the third command regarding Sabbath) takes the reader through how, for the Christian, Sabbath is a reordering of time.  Sabbath observance is about actively remembering God.

One of us was raised in Texas, where there is a wonderful institution known as “Juneteenth.”  On June 19, news of the Emancipation Proclamation reached Texas.  June 19 became the day on which African Americans, with no legal recourse, simply refused to show up for work.  Whites might not have liked it, but there was nothing they could do about it.  They simply accepted “Juneteenth” as a holiday.

The Christian Sabbath is Juneteenth.  It is when Christians perform one of our most radical, countercultural, peculiarly defining acts—we simply refuse to show up for work.  It is how we put the world in its place.  It is how we take over the world’s time and help to make it God’s time.  It is how we get over our amnesia and recover our memory of how we got here, who we are, and in whose service we are called.


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