Walter Brueggemann knows a thing or two about Sabbath keeping. As one of the preeminent Old Testament scholars of the last 50 years, he’s forgotten more about Sabbath, and how the practice functioned in the life of Israel, than I’ll ever know.
I don’t think I could name a single biblical scholar who has had a more profound impact on my life than Walter Brueggemann. But I’ve always wondered: how was it that he became Walter Brueggemann? What’s the personal story behind this phenomenal career? Dr. Brueggemann was gracious enough to spend some time visiting with me about Sabbath, and along the way he opened up a little bit about the path he took while Becoming Brueggemann.
Then he threw down on Sabbath keeping, and the impact that the loss of this discipline has had on our society. It’s all in this episode of the Redemption Church KC Sermon Podcast. I hope you’ll take a few moments to listen to our conversation.
Did you know that the very first time (in the Scriptures) God designates something as holy, it is not a mountain or a shrine, not an altar or a person–but a unique occasion? Time has this intrinsic potential to become something holy. And because that is true, we do not get to determine how we use time without reference to God.
Have you ever wonder why, out of the entire list of the 10 commandments, the only commandment we constantly break (and never feel bad about it) is the fourth command: remember the Sabbath Day and keep it holy? We don’t let each other lie, steal, or sleep around without paying a price. Why so nonchalant about the Sabbath?
Did you know that in the Hebrew imagination, keeping Sabbath isn’t merely about the cessation of work, but the cessation of restlessness? Only Pharaoh’s anxious slaves work seven days a week. Sabbath keeping is an act of a free people who have all the time in the world to delight in the goodness of being part of the family of God. The very essence of Sabbath is delight.
These are just a few of the innumerable lessons I’ve learned from Walter Brueggemann on the practice of Sabbath keeping. Listen to the whole conversation here. Or you can subscribe to the Redemption Church KC Sermon Podcast, wherever you get your podcasts. Please take a moment to subscribe and rate us if you are up for that sort of thing.