22 June 2009

Deuteronomy and Sabbath

Deuteronomic polity insists that there is one way to break the seemingly irreversible cycle of debt, poverty, and enslavement, and to forge a new beginning, free of old sin and failures. The sabbatical principle builds into the relentless movement of human life occasions to stop and recover. On the sabbath occasions of life, whether seventh day, the seventh month, the seventh year, or the fiftieth year the word of God announces "Stop and Recover!"
Stop and recover freedom for slaves
Stop and recover fertility for the land
Stop and recover food for the poor
Stop and recover property to its original owner....
In sum sabbath occasions envisions the regular restoration of the world and its manifold relationship to their created order and character. At its core, the holy rhythm that inseparably joins Israel' life and liturgy also summons the community of faith to reclaim and restore God's cosmic purposes through its ministry in the world.

from: Balentine "The Torah's Vision of Worship"

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