Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Old Time Religion

This afternoon I visited a couple from India Hook who are in their 80s. Bit and Mary Jane have seen depression, war, and prosperity. In all of that they have been guided by a solid work ethic and their faith in God. Their home is paid for (it probably was when it was built following World War II) and up until recently, they grew some of the best tomatoes in York County. Health issues have caught up with both of them, but their bedrock faith has not diminished.

One of the things Bit talked about today was the "old time religion" of his mother. One of the guiding aspects of that "religion" was the Sabbath rest. "No fishing, baseball, cards, or cooking on Sunday, " Bit said. Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy, was something she believed and instilled in her children.

Bit and Mary Jane have seen not only the technological changes around them, but the changes in how we live and worship as a people. The Sabbath does not have the same level of celebration as it did long ago. We are so busy with business ( and ironically, recreation) that we don't let God have time to re-create us or take time to be still before God. Perhaps we should not totally abstain from all activity for that might lead too many of us into an arrogant legalism. But we do need a Sabbath. A time to be still, a time to recognize that the world does not turn by the sweat of our brow or the strength of our investment portfolio. We could all use time to be with family and to enjoy creation around us.

Some things shouldn't change: a religion that recognizes a healthy sabbath leads the way. Summer with a couple of Bit's fresh tomatoes would not be too far behind in my unchanging world.

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