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Sabbath Day

February 20, 2014

This is my weekly post to stay accountable to an online community for my sabbath practice.

For those who keep track, I have not made a sabbath post for two weeks. I did observe these days as ones of rest; I slept, and read, and cleaned and played in ways consistent with prior weeks, but was simultaneoulsy completely uninterested in writing. Now, back to good habits.

Our church choir rehearsal was cancelled last night because two-thirds of the choir were ill, so I used my time to meet a couple of friends for conversation and then settle into my quiet home with a good book I was trying to finish.

A few months ago I purchased the 16 volume complete works of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German theologian/martyr of the 1930s. I turned to Bonhoeffer last summer when I was invited to speak at a prayer breakfast on the topic “How do we love those we don’t even like?” and found Bonhoeffer a faithful and challenging guide. I have read him for years, but the newly edited and translated volumes are like reading new works; working through them is a theological project I have set myself for the year. I started with Discipleship last fall and have now finished five volumes, completing Volume 11: Ecumenical, Academic, and Pastoral Work: 1931-1932 today with my coffee this morning.

sixth_extinction_medium

It was a beautiful and (finally) warm day in White Plains today so I took a walk downtown to pick up Elizabeth Kolbert’s new book The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History at Barnes and Noble and to read in the cafe.  In the last half-billion years there have been five cataclysms during which the diversity of life on earth has dramatically contracted. According to Kolbert, staff writer at The New Yorker, we are in the midst of the sixth, only this time humans are responsible for it and it will be as devastating as the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs. It is gripping reading (even for my seven year old, for whom I have summarized each chapter so far). Kolbert is speaking about this book at the American Museum of Natural History next week, and all three of us (my wife, my son and I) have tickets.

Here’s a recent interview with her, published in the NYTimes.

Here’s a link to event at the museum.

I read this book for few hours, visited the public library with a box of book donations, and then went rock climbing with August. We had a great time and came home thoroughly worn out.

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We had a dinner together as a family and then settled in to read Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. August lost a tooth somewhere during Chapter Ten, so the tooth fairy will visit us tonight with a gold dollar.

One more thing: I interrupted the evening for a bit to meet members of my congregation’s Green Team online to participate in a GreenFaith sponsored Webinar on “Biblical Teaching on the Environment – A Christian Perspective.” (We heard “A Jewish Perspective” on Monday).

Now for some soulful jams and more reading until I fall asleep.

Shalom

 

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