John Bell—Taking a sabbatical is a very biblical practice

Posted by Kendall Harmon

One good legacy of the British Empire in Hong Kong is that even yet on Sundays the streets of the city from morning to night with hardworked Filipino maids who go to church and then spend the rest of the day sitting on blankets and cooking food for their friends.

But the Sabbath was also meant for the earth itself. Long before crop rotation and fallow years became British farming practice, people of faith were giving fields a year off so that the ground might recover its natural nutrients and be liberated from constant exploitation.

Perhaps the Sabbath is one of the most inclusive gifts which the Judeo-Christian tradition has to offer secular society. Everything needs a rest, especially people and places which are expected to be always on call. And I suspect that if Jesus (who regarded the Sabbath as a liberation) were around today he would endorse the good ecological practice of giving a sabbatical to the land... and he would perhaps encourage a Sabbath away from fast food, face-book, email and any other accoutrement to which we - if only we would admit it - are enslaved.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyPastoral Theology

Posted October 26, 2010 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]
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