The Common Good

Sabbath, Dammit. SABBATH!

Is "sabbath" a verb?

Can one "sabbath?"

"I'm sabbathing right now"...or..."Mike is not available right now. He's out sabbathing somewhere and cannot be reached for comment."

I don't know.

I'm pondering this grammatical reframing of the word. Why? Well, it's a Commandment. Keeping the sabbath is a commandment (Exodus 20:8) right there with not murdering, lusting after your neighbor's wife, or worshiping other gods.

Yep, it's a commandment and I'm just plain terrible at keeping it these days. 

So, if it's a commandment can the word be used in the imperative? 

God said, "Sabbath, O people, my people!" You know, "Sabbath, dammit!" 

We had Thanksgiving on Thursday here in the United States. Yes, we did, and I ate my weight in turkey and stuffing. Yesterday I discovered myself relaxed for the first time in many months. I didn't have an assigned reading, or a self-assigned reading, or something to do for the church or anything else for that matter.

That is a very rare day, indeed. It was the first break in thinking about my dissertation topic I've had in many months, too. 

That's one thing that they tell you about being in a Ph.D. program but never really makes sense until you are doing the work: Your brain never takes a break. It's alway synthesizing informations, pulling at threads, etc. The almost conscious mulling and thinkificating (not "thinking" but "thinkificating") is constant.

And though I'm loving every second of it, it's also exhausting and very difficult to stop doing once I'm doing it.

Yesterday, I didn't even think about stuff. It was a glorious day. 

This morning I arose to manifold thoughts about how one writes a theory-based dissertation in Liturgical Studies. Music, theory (ethnomusicological, ritual, and critical), theology, and old fashioned "sangin'." 

Lord forgive me, for I have sinned. Again. 

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Tripp Hudgins is a doctoral student in liturgical studies at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, Calif., and associate pastor of First Baptist Church of Palo Alto, Calif. You can read more of his writings on his longtime blog, "Conjectural Navel Gazing; Jesus in Lint Form" at AngloBaptist.orgFollow Tripp on Twitter @AngloBaptist.

Photo credit: Image by Eugene Ivanov/Shutterstock.

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