I was back in action yesterday, leading worship at Western. And it was great to be there. I had not been to a service all month, so it felt really, really good.
After the service, we ended up going out to eat. And for dinner, my husband and I were still too tired to cook and clean, so we grabbed a couple of sandwiches. This is how it often goes on Sundays (and on Easter, and on Christmas Eve), with two pastors in the family. There’s no one at home, making sure the roast comes out of the oven on time. We get so busy preparing for services, then we get the house, and realize that we have nothing to eat. As an introvert, I love people, but it’s exhausting for me to be in a crowd. On Sunday, I usually just want to (1) read and (2) nap.
I’m making this public confession because I realized this morning that my Sabbath-keeping is all messed up. Taking that particular, holy time has always meant worshiping and resting, but it’s also supposed to mean refraining from consumption. It’s not just rest for us, but rest for the earth.
But the truth is, I probably consume more on Sunday than any other day. It’s a practice that I have neglected, and yet we know that it would be quite good for the environment if all the Christian in our country began to refrain from consumption on our day of rest.
Sadly, for me, rest often means consumption. If my husband and I are not consuming, we’re cooking and doing dishes. I wonder if women in traditional family roles have always had this problem…. But aside from gender, it’s often that way, isn’t it? When we want to go on vacation, when we want to rest from our work, we want to be in a place where we can be waited on, and our rest leads us to consume stuff.
So, my question is, for pastors, when you celebrate the Sabbath, do you do it on Sunday, or does that feel too much like work? I have one day off, of course, but that’s usually reserved for laundry and cleaning…. And for everyone, do you think about your consumption as a part of keeping that holy day? How do you do it? Crock pots and leaving the dirty dishes? Am I just being too literalistic? Or are dishes and cooking not considered work?