Monday, February 8, 2010

You Shall Not Work at Your Occupation

Numbers 28-31

Numbers 28:25 NRSV

Do you ever take a day off from your job?

I mean a day completely away from your work. No emails. No blackberry. No iphone. No facebook (if your co-workers are your friends). No twittering your office mates. No last minute phone calls. No surfing the internet for job-related information. No going by the office just to pick something up. And for the household CEOs among us - no housework! Do you ever take a day in which you do not work at your occupation?

My guess is many of us will say either no or sometimes. I strive to take a day of Sabbath for myself but I often get on the computer and, well, get back to work. It is hard to do for a preacher. But not impossible. And I have seen those of you with secular jobs do the same or worse. 60 work hours seems to be the minimum many of you work, 80-90 hours being the norm.

In this passage from Numbers 28-91, the words "you shall not work at your occupation" are repeated again and again when it comes to holy days. God has already given the commandment not to do any work (jobs, walking, household maintenance included) on the Sabbath but here God says not to do your job on these holy days.

I really don't know of many religions that want you to take a day off. Seems to me that God is saying something to us about work and its importance in our lives. God, not our occupations, should be our priority.

God, you ask us to put you first. But you know how often we place our jobs ahead of you. Forgive us, Lord, and help us get our priorities straight.

Copyright 2010 Amelia G. Sims

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