Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? (Matthew 6:27)
Yesterday, we celebrated our weekly Sabbath and re-affirmed the centrality of family life rooted in God. Shalom Shabbat. The day concluded with each of us offering a prayer of gratitude, hugging one another, then saying goodnight. Just before sleep, I was laying across the bed and talking with my wife. Our son was beside me, stroking the stubble on my chin and laughing about the gray hairs. My wife rested her hand on my chest. Our talk turned to the temporary nature of our bodies.
In 100 years or less, all of us will be gone from this earth. Even our son, just beginning his life now, will be gone in less than 100 years. It is foolishness to act like we have forever here. So, what does this temporary life mean, and how are we to live it? Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die? More than that. Perhaps this: Love God and one another with your entire being, for love is stronger than death. Love is the only thing that lasts and the only thing that matters while we are enjoying the goodness of this life. All else is like chasing after the wind.
Yesterday, we calculated that over the past 12 years we have celebrated at least 600 Sabbaths. It has grounded us in the love that matters. It has taught us what is true and what is not. Sabbath-keeping is a temporary sanity that (through the grace of God in time) transforms lives. We live by mercy if we live.