We tend to think of sabbatical in academic terms, as a school year free from teaching duties that can be devoted to research, travel, and writing; a time to do something different than the routine. Traditionally, this occurs every seventh year. Because of this scholarly context, we may easily miss what is hiding in plain sight: that sabbatical is related to Sabbath, which refers to the Biblical day of rest, or the seventh day. We trace the origins of both sabbatical and Sabbath to the Greek word sabbaton. Sabbaton itself traces to the Hebrew word shabbāth, meaning “rest.”
The Old Testament refers to God’s “day of rest” and the most familiar passage found in Genesis, but Sabbath referring to an entire year of rest is mentioned in Leviticus (25:3-5).
At First Christian Church of Glendora (FCCG) beginning this month, we are going to practice a “Sabbath Sunday” every 5th Sunday, which equates to once a quarter. The first Sabbath Sunday we will be observing is January 30, 2022. On the Sabbath Sundays, we will not be gathering for worship together, but instead invite you (encourage you!) to spend time with family, friends, nature…..however you best “recharge” and “renew.” We will provide some devotional materials for you to reflect upon, and encourage you to experience “communion” as you commune with your loved ones and God’s wonderful creation. May you experience God in the world around you and pause to give thanks for life’s most precious gifts.