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Sabbath Day

December 11, 2016

Knowledge is only a small island in a vast sea that has not been traveled. It is a floating island, and it might be more familiar to us than the sea, but ultimately it is borne by the sea and only because it is borne by the sea can we be borne by it. Hence the existential question for the knower is this: Which does he love more, the small island of his so-called knowledge, or the sea of infinite mystery?

Karl Rahner, Foundations of Christian Faith

Sabbath is an opportunity to sit with the profound mystery at the heart of it existence. It has been a busy week, though, so my Sabbath has been taken a bit here and a bit there over the last three days. It was enough to touch the ground, breathe the crisp air, learn something new and do something useful each day before getting back to work.

On Thursday I found a few hours to read theology, particularly a new book  published by WJK called Awake to the Moment: An Introduction to [Constructive] Theology (where I found the above quotation). Unmoored from traditional categories of dogmatics, the volume is organized around epistemology, engaging tradition, ways of world making (through lament, prophecy and practice) and leaves until the very end conceptualizing God. Its an interesting book, written jointly by an AAR workgroup of more than 70 members, highly quotable for preachers. I then found time, while August was at the Nature Center, to take a short sunset hike. I am returning to trails I walked in the summer and fall, as they look all new now with the leaves on the ground.

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On Friday, August had a half day of school, so he had I broke out our winter gear and headed over to the Split Rock Sweet Water Reservation in Mahwah, New Jersey to help build the winter camp. Chief Perry of the Ramapough Lunaape Nation had put out a call for friends (and especially clergy) to spend the day on Indigenous Land. Local police have been harassing the tribe (in part, for their resistance to the SPECTRA/AIM fracked gas pipeline), and had threatened to evict them from their land on Friday.

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August and I spend a couple of very cold hours helping move wet tents and putting up a new teepee. We then warmed ourselves around the fire and talked of hunting, cooking, and life among the Ramapo. Friday evening found us on a 3 1/2  hour run to the airport to bring Noelle back home. Nothing came (on Friday) of the threatened eviction from their own land.

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Saturday found us busy again, with just enough time to visit the goats in Greenburgh and take another short walk in the woods.

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I guess there are days we are profoundly aware of the sea that bears us along, but we must spend our time working hard to keep the raft afloat. Such was this week.

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