Sunday, 29 March 2020

Lent Inspirations #4 - A Sabbath Rest

For almost a fortnight now, Bob has posted a 'Thought for the Day' on our Church WhatsApp group. This one received so many positive comments, I asked if I could use it as a Guest Post today. May it bless you as it has blessed others. Thanks Bob! He says...
"Like many of you, I’m taking advantage of this beautiful weather and the encouragement to get some exercise each day to go for a (carefully distanced) walk. We’re privileged to be just a little distance from Poor Common. Called that because back in the 19th century, when wealthy landowners enclosed more and more land that had previously been free to access, land was sometimes left so that the poor could gather wood for fuel (though not graze animals). It’s now full of beautifully surfaced paths through Scots Pine trees.
And I’m conscious as I walk of the quietness. Far less traffic noise, far fewer planes overhead. Intentional or not, desired or not, the world is getting just a short Sabbatical - a rest it desperately needed, in order to recover. 
Maybe we all need to see this enforced break as a Sabbatical - and embrace the ‘doing less’ as a moment to be renewed. How often have we told ourselves of the things we would do if only we had time? Just now we do have time - to talk to each other; to pray; to bake bread; to write that novel; to study scripture. Maybe we should be less anxious to get back to where we were, and a little more ready to see today’s blessing. For make no mistake - we are still in a place of privilege. Here’s what one writer from India reminds us:
“Social distancing is a privilege. It means you live in a house large enough to practise it. Hand washing is a privilege too. It means you have access to running water. Hand sanitisers are a privilege. It means you have money to buy them. Lockdowns are a privilege. It means you can afford to be at home. Most of the ways to ward the Corona off are accessible only to the affluent. In essence, a disease that was spread by the rich as they flew around the globe will now kill millions of the poor. All of us who are practising social distancing and have imposed a lockdown on ourselves must appreciate how privileged we are.”
Let us not waste this Sabbath, but recognise the blessing it offers us. Leviticus 25 reminds us: In the seventh year the land is to have a year of sabbath rest, a sabbath to the Lord. Do not sow your fields or prune your vineyards.  Do not reap what grows of itself or harvest the grapes of your untended vines. The land is to have a year of rest.  Whatever the land yields during the sabbath year will be food for you—for yourself, your male and female servants, and the hired worker and temporary resident who live among you,  as well as for your livestock and the wild animals in your land.”
Enjoy a Sabbath rest today!"


  1. That was very well put, Bob.

  2. Thank you, Angela and Bob. The words of the writer in India are very true. Hand washing assumes you have access to clean water and soap, social distancing assumes you have the space in which to do so. Adequate personal hygiene assumes there is access to sanitation in the form of toilets and sewers. These and other similar facilities don't exist in many parts of the world where the poor live in slums and refugees live in crowded camps.

  3. Thank you, that gave me much to think about.

  4. I was thinking about all those in India who live under flyovers and bridges and have no chance to social distance and how we, the rich, have flown the world spreading disease. It certainly has been rich privilege that has spread this. We are lucky.x

  5. And yes, the Sabbath rest is something we are lucky to be able to do.


Always glad to hear from you - thanks for stopping by!
I am blocking anonymous comments now, due to excessive spam!