ESSAY

Week 3

Adjacent to Eternity

[One] who wants to enter the holiness of the day must first lay down the profanity of clattering commerce, of being yoked to toil. [S]he must go away from the screech of dissonant days, from the nervousness and fury of acquisitiveness and the betrayal in embezzling [her] own life. He must say farewell to manual work and learn to understand that the world has already been created and will survive without [his] help… Six days a week we wrestle with the world, wringing profit from the earth; on the Sabbath we especially care for the seed of eternity planted in the soul. The world has our hands, but our soul belongs to Someone Else. Six days a week we seek to dominate the world, on the seventh day we try to dominate the self…

The seventh day is a palace in time which we build. It is made of soul, of joy and reticence. In its atmosphere, a discipline is a reminder of adjacency to eternity... How else express glory in the presence of eternity, if not by the silence of abstaining from noisy acts?

by Abraham Heschel (1907-1972), from The Sabbath: Its Meaning for Modern Man, published in 1951

 

 

Some keep the Sabbath going to Church

by Emily Dickinson

Some keep the Sabbath going to Church—

I keep it, staying at Home—

With a Bobolink for a Chorister—

And an Orchard, for a Dome—

 

Some keep the Sabbath in Surplice—

I, just wear my Wings—

And instead of tolling the Bell, for Church,

Our little Sexton—sings.

 

God preaches, a noted Clergyman—

And the sermon is never long,

So instead of getting to Heaven, at last—

I’m going, all along.