CAPC Oakland

News, Connections and Photos from the life of the faith community at CAPC Oakland

Blogging Towards Sunday, May 16, 2021

Jeremiah 18:1-6; Exodus 20:8-11 & Deuteronomy 5:12-15

We’re talking about legacy – which can be both positive and negative – a loaded idea.  “First, it means what you leave behind to your heirs (the inheritance or gift). And second, one can also have a terribly negative legacy—the bad stuff that passes on from generation to generation (the effect, the outcome, the awful consequence of a personal or family way of being in the world).”

We’re talking about the legacy of this past year through the metaphor of the Japanese art form and philosophical idea of Kintsugi    

(金継ぎ) to talk about the legacy of this past year.  Kintsugi is  the art of repairing broken pottery by mending the areas of breakage with a lacquer of  powdered gold.  As a philosophy, it’s about embracing flaws, imperfections, “brokenness” then blessing, keeping, and restoring them – quite possibly even making the item (person, community) stronger.

This past year has been characterized by both rest and restlessness.  With the across-society shut-down life stopped and slowed down for most of us.  Our regular schedules and habits were interrupted.  There wasn’t much to do, besides baking. At the same time we lived in and through a heightened sense of anxiety and trauma.  Would we catch COVID-19 going to the store to get the food we need?  Would we give COVID-19 to an at-risk loved one, causing them to become sick and inadvertently leading to their death?  Doing not much was exhausting.

The Ten Commandments are given by God to the Israelites to show them how to live, to form their relationships and community.  It’s not just about a just and righteous society, but also about a life-in-community that reflects the values and purpose of God. 

The fourth commandment is about sabbath, or rest.  It’s the only commandment that is described differently in the two times that the commandments are listed in the Hebrew Scriptures: Exodus 20:8-11 & Deuteronomy 5:12-15. 

In our society rest is complicated.  Recreation is important, a multi-billion dollar industry – sports, gyms, movies, amusement parks.  But Sabbath (REST) is something different.  It’s not just resting your body, but also your mind and spirit.  It’s about remembering who you are, what we are created for, and who created us – who shows up for us again and again and again.  It’s about perspective, resistance and renewal.  Recognizing we can’t do it on our own.

Questions for Reflection & Examen:

  1. What engaged, enraged, or surprised you in these texts?
  2. How do you practice sabbath-rest in your life? 
  3. What patterns, expectations, or rules of society would you like to be free of?

About capcoakland

We are a community of faith seeking to live God's will together: that space where the passions of our hearts and the needs of the world meet in our context of Berkeley, Oakland and Piedmont. Our perspective is based from a Christian center, open to the mystery of God's presence in our world. Our core values are celebration, community & prayer. This blog is our avenue for program updates and information.

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This entry was posted on May 15, 2021 by in Blogging Towards Sunday.
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