It's Saturday, and in the tradition of our Jewish ancestors in the faith and in our Jewish neighbors, it is the Sabbath. It is that special time set aside for God, for family, for worship, for self. In the midst of busy lives and a hectic season, when everything seems to be on fast forward, Sabbath comes as the pause button on the remote control of our lives.
While in one sense, Sabbath offers us a chance to do some of the things we don't have the time for the rest of the week, it is not meant to try to squeeze in even more and more. Rather, as one young Jewish writer said, it is the opportunity to distinguish "between minutes and hours not to regiment them but to set aside moments of holiness."
Psalm 149 is a Sabbath psalm, because it speaks to us of newness, of praise, of worship - all elements of Sabbath worship and observance. But especially it tells us to rejoice, to make melody, to sing!
So, sing today:
sing to your children of your love for them, of your joy in them, of your hopes and dreams for them;
sing to your partner - the Sabbath custom is for the husband to gather up all his feelings and cares for his wife, and to praise her with music;
sing to God . . . And when you do, remember that most of the time we pick hymns and songs we like. Sing a song that you think God might enjoy!
But sing, sing, sing . . . And celebrate the gift of Sabbath.
At creation, you sang the stars, the seas, the wind, the flowers into life, Amazing God. At our birth, you sang to us of your deepest longing for us. Even now, you carol us with the remembrance of the One who came to bring us new life. Now, sit back, Holy One, as we sing our praises to you . . . . . .
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