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Friday, June 15, 2007
Sabbath and Consumerism
My friend Pat has blogged about Sabbath and consumer culture, linking to an article from the Wallstreet Journal about The Decline of the Sabbath by Mollie Ziegler Hemingway. Hemingway argues that it's hard to maintain a value of a day for rest, rejuvenationa and worship for all people when alot of people want to spend money every day of the week including the Sabbath. I would be curious to hear thoughts on how we might restore a Sabbath spirit and sanctuary from the expectation to do and spend, without becoming legalistic about the whole thing. How do our weekend spending habits impact the ability or inability of others to enjoy a Sabbath rest with friends and family? What could we as a culture and individuals do better in this regard to foster healthy, happy communities and families?

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posted by Jemila Kwon at 8:38 AM ¤ Permalink ¤


  • At 6/15/2007 09:23:00 AM, Blogger medium guy

    Interesting post - makes one ponder the cultural differences associated with a sabbath type concept. When I lived in Nepal, I had been spoiled by the 2-day weekend here in the U.S. but there Saturday is the 1 weekend day. However, the pace feels so much slower and easier, at least to my sensibilities, that perhaps it balances out. Also, there is a 6 to 8 week holiday period in the fall that the vast majority of the people I encountered took en masse as a break from vocational activities, and you'd never see that here - France is the closest with the annual 5 week "vacances".
    Just going back 100 plus years, there's D.L. Moody's rant about how the sky is falling because of the evils associated with...gasp...the print and delivery of a newspaper on Sunday! Nowadays, in the U.S. with 6 and even 7 day workweeks the norm as opposed to the exception, a sabbath is sorely needed - especially by those who don't think they need one.

  • At 6/16/2007 01:12:00 PM, Blogger Lydia

    how we might restore a Sabbath spirit and sanctuary from the expectation to do and spend, without becoming legalistic about the whole thing

    A great first step would be to treat store and restaurant employees with a great deal of respect on the Sabbath.

    Sundays at noon-ish are often a horrible time for tips for many servers, to give just one example. If (the general) you is invited out to lunch after church, one way to approach this with a Sabbath spirit would be to go, treat your server well, and then leave him or her a huge tip.

    Or one could start a tradition of having a multi-family meal on summer weekends. Buy food, etc earlier in the week and then spend the weekend grilling out and talking and laughing with your friends/family. The focus comes back to relationships rather than going out and spending money. It's something I'd do if my apartment was big enough for guests!

  • At 6/16/2007 08:30:00 PM, Blogger Jemila Monroe

    I like both ideas. I also wish there were a law that you couldn't discriminate/deny employment to someone who chose not to work on the Sabbath. Like I know Borders requires employees to work alot of weekends and holidays. This seems unfair to those who believe in Sabbath observance.

  • At 8/28/2007 05:03:00 AM, Anonymous marsha

    questions --
    i wonder if most christians are on the wrong track altogether when talking about the Sabbath. for instance, take Jesus, he was a jew and therefore part of a community who obviously kept the last day of the week holy (saturday) - not the first one (sunday).
    why would God establish the first day of the creation week as a day of rest?
    if the fourth commandment is still valid that means that the Sabbath is still apart: the creator God wants us, his creation, to worship Him alone on His holy day.
    His own son Jesus kept the jewish Sabbath as long as he walked the earth (he went to the jewish houses of prayer/ synagogues every Sabbath "as his habit") and even in the tomb he took a Sabbath rest, on saturday - i find that quite striking.
    since my biblestudies haven't revealed to me any inconsistency of Gods eternal will so far, i guess i will keep the saturday as a holy day of rest. and by the way, since i discovered the Sabbath, i am truly blessed with a day of worship that renews my spirit every week. finally a day on which my problems have no hold on me at all! i call that a day of rest! ;-)
    be blessed and keep discussing!


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