The Eighth Day Dawns
written by Rev Gary Heard

The church has decided to change its name: to "The Community of the Eighth Day". The symbolism and imagery is rich, impregnated with important insight, and
an indication of our future direction. This reflection expresses an aspect of that imagery. Watch for the church's emerging web presence.

Omygoodness, an eighth day? With nothing else to impinge upon it? A day free to utilise for all those things I expressed a desire to do if only I had the time? Amazing! Incredible! For people drowning in 24/7 lifestyles, the notion of an extra day might be both a liberating concept, and a threatening one.

A day that could not be touched by our employment situation would seem like freedom to many. A day for relationships would be wonderful, particularly where there is no pressure to be at a certain place by a certain time. A time for silence, for reading that book, or exploring art galleries: so many potential ways to give time to ourselves as people, as spiritual people.

But there is a downside. There has always been the excuse of time limitations which allowed us to express the desires without ever having to follow through. The excuse would be gone. Then there is the habit of perpetual motion and constant busyness which has kept us going. How many of us have fallen ill in the first week of a holiday, as our bodies finally succumb to the stress we have placed upon it? All habits are hard to break. And letís not forget that there are those who see such gifts as opportunities for exploitation.

There is no simple and easy solution to the challenges we face today, either as human beings or as communities, religious or otherwise. We used to have a Sabbath (seventh) day for addressing these things, and we would do well to ponder why it has been lost. (I am not speaking merely of the loss of a Sunday as a holy day, but of the loss of the notion of the importance of rest which is implied in a Sabbath).

But we need to be constantly reminded of the things which are important, in order that they not be lost. The notion of an Eighth Day can help to bring this back into focus, but it will not do it without our commitment to live out and express these values in our own community and home settings.
An eighth day is dawning for this community. Let us pray that its light illumines something important for us all.

Gary
September 7, 2003
 
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