While I was researching Sabbath keeping last semester, I came across a compelling article by Rob Bell in Relevant Magazine. Rob tackles the purpose of advent. As he explores why it’s important to wait through the season of advent, he says some important things about keeping the Sabbath, too.
“Six days you shall work, but on the seventh, don’t. Why is this so monumental? God gives them rhythm. But not the rhythm of sound, the rhythm of time. Life before was an interminable succession of sevens. Seven, seven, seven. But now, their time is broken up, measured, arranged with a beat: six and one, six and one, six and one. God is the God of the groove,” says Bell.
My husband has a record collection. Vinyl albums, lots of them. This collection was the inspiration for another way to think about keeping Sabbath.
Picture a vinyl album with no grooves. Even the most amazing songs would run together in a cacophony of endless noise. The space between the singles is what signals us that one has finished and another is beginning. It attunes our ears to appreciate the new sounds which are preceded by white noise.
Life is no different, but few of us are incorporating the space between our weeks, months, and years. As you contemplate shifting from sevens to a rhythm of six and one, six and one, remember that the space between our greatest moments is what allows us to recognize and revel in the blessings of life.
“Sevens” are like a wheel that never stops. The “six and one” pattern of Sabbath invites you to stop for a day and delight in life. And that’s how I’m now certain that six plus one does not (always) equal seven.