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We will continue our Bible study on Celebrating Sabbath with lesson 8, “Sister Act”
Our first clue that Sabbath and Justice are a kind of “sister act” is in the Sabbath commandments themselves. The Sabbath commandment in both Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5 makes it very clear that Sabbath is a gift intended for everyone. That makes it a justice issue. If some people get to enjoy the Sabbath and other people don’t, then something is wrong with that picture from God’s perspective.
So, recognizing this close connection is key for understanding Sabbath. But it’s not all we need to understand. At the risk of sounding like one of those late-night TV commercials (“But wait! There’s more!”), the Sabbath/Justice sister act is not for only one day of the week. Celebrating the Sabbath means living lives of justice all week long.
Sabbath isn’t just something we do to re-charge our own batteries. Sabbath is something that is designed to change the way we look at life. It’s meant to spill over every aspect of our lives—our work, our play, our relationships, our votes.
No wonder the prophet Isaiah linked Sabbath with things like letting the oppressed go free and sharing our bread with the hungry—with loosing the bonds of injustice and bringing the homeless poor into our houses (Isaiah 58).