Meditation written by Cathy Tamsberg.
Read by Kevin Neiley
During these days, the garden shops are packed. Logan’s, Lowe’s, and all the other stores and nurseries that sell plants and seeds are full of people getting ready to plant their gardens. Some serious gardeners are already tending cool weather vegetables. Others are awaiting the last frost, ready to get their hands dirty in this year’s garden.
Today’s Hebrew Bible text comes once again from the book of Leviticus (25:1-19.) It’s the story of giving rest to the land through the creation of an every-seven-years Sabbath and a 50th Jubilee year. Not only did Yahweh create a Sabbath for humans every seven days, but the land was to receive a rest as well. The seventh year “shall be a year of complete rest for the land.” (v. 5b) Then on the 50th year—following seven Sabbath years—a sacred “Jubilee” was to be proclaimed, a time of freedom and celebration when everyone was to receive back their original property, and slaves were to return home to their families. It is not clear if and how this directive was practiced, but it recognizes the need for both rest and making things fair and just.
Today experienced farmers and gardeners know that rotating crops and letting land lie fallow has practical value in maximizing their yield. But from a spiritual perspective, Sabbath rest is important as well. Sabbath is not just a desirable “treat.” It is an essential part of fairness to ourselves and to others. All of us need rest to be our best, most loving selves. All of creation needs time away from the intense focus on productivity that is part of our Western way of living. If you are not regularly making time for Sabbath rest, consider today how you can make space in your life for meeting this deep need.
This meditation is from “Lent: Sowing Season, Holy Time,” a collection of daily readings by Associate Pastor Cathy Tamsberg. Each day during Lent, from Ash Wednesday, February 13, 2013, to Easter Sunday, March 31, 2013, a new excerpt read by a member of the Pullen congregation will be made available. To hear each day’s reading as it is published, subscribe to Pullen’s RSS feed, or listen to the podcast in iTunes.