Friday, January 23, 2009

Snowy Sabbaths

(Photo by Hazel King)

Snow is a rarity in the South, so even a dusting excites the children and ensures a mad rush to the supermarket to stock up on bread and milk. It is as though we anticipate a blizzard and expect to be snowbound for weeks. The truth is we all look forward to these serendipitous holidays when we can miss work without guilt. Snow days are like Sabbaths—a period of enforced rest from the day to day rush. When the Israelites were in the wilderness, God provided food by raining manna down from heaven for their daily bread. They were allowed to gather enough for only one day because the manna spoiled if left over. But the day before the Sabbath, they gathered extra and the manna remained fresh and nourishing for two days. God established the Sabbath as a day of rest, knowing that after six days of labor we humans need a time of relaxation. To ensure rest, the Israelites were forbidden to leave their tents on the Sabbath day. Today many people ignore the true meaning of the Sabbath and spend it in the same activities as the rest of the week. When we’re snowbound, we are made to rest because it isn’t possible to carry on as usual. And if there’s enough snow to make snow cream, well, that’s like manna from heaven.

“It's useless to rise early and go to bed late, and work your worried fingers to the bone. Don't you know he enjoys giving rest to those he loves?” (Psalm 127:2, The Message)

By Hazel King
© 2009

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