Sabbath Verbs

Last week I was talking to some folks about the different verbs that I've heard associated with the act of Sabbath. I spent a little time this morning with my imagination (and with dictionary.com) exploring some of these words. I wonder which verb sounds most gracious to you. Which one opens up a different understanding? What verbs would you add? Whether you're into Sabbath practice or not, I'd be interested to hear your thoughts. What I notice is how active and volitional these verbs are for something that is, at its heart, a "non-doing." But I am finding this year that it is not that simple---it's not just a matter of stopping. It really takes an act of will.

This isn't a particularly elegant poem, but I'm counting it as one anyway for National Poetry Month.

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To keep the Sabbath:

to clutch it, to possess it, to hold it close to one's heart. to not let anyone take it away. to hold it for a period of time. to guard it jealously. to store it, to maintain it in good condition. to hold in custody, to save it, reserve it. to tend it, as a garden.

(to work for one's keep: for one's subsistence)

A keep is also a tower or fortress. Make the Sabbath a keep, a place to retreat to, a place that is strong and fortified, a place in time.

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To observe the Sabbath:

to watch it, to regard it, to pay attention to it. to show reverence for it, to perform duly. to inspect. to obey or comply with. to perceive. to notice.

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To remember the Sabbath:

to recall, to bring to mind, to remain aware of, to have something come into mind again,

(to mention to another as sending kindly greetings---remember me in your prayers)

to re-member: to put back together what has been dismembered.

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To practice Sabbath:

to do it again and again, to perfect one's technique, to set new goals as one improves. to do something as a habit, to train or drill to give proficiency. to follow as custom. to exercise or pursue as a vocation.