This morning I am thinking of the notion of “Sabbath” and how the busyness of our lives has squeezed the practice that originated in the book of Genesis (God resting on “the seventh day” from all the work of creation) into a religious service that may last an hour at most. I speak of Catholic practice, which is what I know best, and am pushing aside any sense of commitment and feeling of the difference that accompanies this most important day of the week for many people, in order to shine a spotlight on how things “used to be.” I would wager that “no unnecessary servile work on Sunday” is a concept unknown to most Catholics under the age of 40 years.
My point is not to return to an understanding of the call to worship as a statute that, if broken, has dire consequences. It is simply a sadness that we seem, as a people, to have lost a sense of wonder and awe about creation and the Creator that – in and of itself – calls us to stop and give praise on a regular basis. Were we to understand the depth of what we have been given as possibility for conscious living, we would likely have little time for anything but praise! The paradox about that, however, would be our ability to do everything we are doing with more ease and success if we were acting consciously all the time. Let us, then, begin this morning with Psalm 145, as does the lectionary. The psalmist reminds us of the duty and privilege of praise so let us also raise our voices in like manner.
O sovereign God, all-powerful, your name I praise above all else. Each day that comes I add another note of song that I shall never cease to sing, for you, Almighty One, are great beyond my telling. Of you there is no limit and no end.