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The practice of saying no: Observe and remember

just_say_noA being is free only when it can determine and limit its activity.

On Friday nights, observant Jews light two candles for the upcoming Sabbath, their day of rest.

  1. A rest candle, for the Shabbat commandment “to observe”
    Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the LORD your God commanded you. Deuteronomy 5:12
  2. A freedom candle, for the Shabbat commandment “to remember”
    Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
    Exodus 20:8

In my year of One Word 2013: Jesus, I’m choosing April to practice saying “no” one day a week. As Barbara Brown Taylor says in An Altar in the World:

I have made a practice of saying no for one day a week: to work, to commerce, to the voice in my head that is forever whispering, “More.” One day each week, More God is the only thing on my list.

So I hope to light two candles once a week to remind me to say, “More Jesus, please.”

  1. By observing rest
    Rest is God’s gift to the tired. Tired of catching up, tired of working hard, tired of learning more. Instead, rest in the finished work of Jesus. It is done.
  2. By remembering freedom
    I’ve been set free from slavery to my own works. I want to remember and celebrate my liberation by living as if I truly am free: free from worries, free from condemnation, free from self.

If God could rest from his work, how much more should I be able to rest from mine.

When you live in God, your day begins when you let God raise you up, when you consent to rest to show you get the point, since that is the last thing you would do if you were running the show yourself.

* * *

Do you observe a day of rest each week? How easy or difficult is it?



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