My least favorite side-effect from this global quarantine has been the way it makes the holy days feel.
We’re all home more often. We all have fewer opportunities (and fewer good reasons) to leave home. It’s easy to feel stuck, isolated, and trapped—even for a self-proclaimed introvert. And the longer we do this, the more every day starts to blend together into an amorphous mess. The Sabbaths (and the annual holy days especially) have always been significant mile markers for us. Our schedule for those day used to be drastically different—when we get moving, what we eat for breakfast, how we get dressed, where we spend most of our day, who we spend time with—and now all of a sudden it’s… less different.
Same location. Same people. Sometimes the same food. We still dress up nice, but a holy day doesn’t feel like a holy day when Church services means sitting on your couch and looking at your TV. We’re grateful for it, and it’s infinitely better than the alternative, but it’s still so, so easy for holy time to blend and blur into every other day we spend cooped up in our house. How do you treat it with reverence and honor when it so quickly starts to feel like… everything else?
Has it been the same for you?
I can’t believe the Days of Unleavened Bread are almost over. It almost doesn’t even feel like they were ever here. I don’t feel like the lessons sunk in quite as clearly for me. It was so easy this week to lose sight of the vision and the purpose of this festival. It was so hard to carve out the time for real, meaningful study when my house has become my every day, my every minute. The lines, the transitions, the mile markers, they’re all so blurry.
And I guess that is the lesson for me, this year. Maybe you too, if you’re in the same boat:
Keeping the holy days holy takes effort from us. Especially now. Especially when Satan has found a way to make time feel blurry and inconsequential for so much of the world. I don’t know how long these quarantines will last, but the Sabbaths, the holy days—they’ll keep coming. And if we—if I—don’t get better at making those lines special, the meaning and value of these days will keep passing me by.
I don’t want that. I don’t know the exact steps I need to take to counteract all this in my own life, but I know it’s going to take more than sitting and wishing. It’s going to take thoughtful, intentional steps from every single one of us.
God told us, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Exodus 20:8).
That’s always been important, but in these strange times, it might be more important than ever. Satan absolutely wants us to forget it and lose it in the blurriness of our newly refurbished lives.
Don’t let him get away with that.
Remember it. Keep it.
We need what these days picture.
Until next time,