Bethany Theological Seminary and Earlham School of Religion's Seminaries Librarian Jane Pinzino delivered the following message in ESR worship on Tuesday, February 3, 2015:
Early one Friday evening, when I was a graduate student living in Philadelphia, I was walking home from the pub with Lana, a classmate in the program. As we strolled across the Walnut Street bridge, I was discussing in detail my views about a class in medieval paleography that Lana and were enrolled in. I was verbally processing the work of the week now done, continuing the trajectory from our Happy Hour conversation. As daylight waned Lana became more and more quiet, apparently distracted, and finally visibly concerned. Lana turned to me and politely asked whether we might move along more quickly, and I often remember her explanation, “The sun is going down and when it does, I put down my backpack.” I looked at her backpack and I looked at the sinking sun, and we picked up the pace.
We proceeded in silence while I digested this unexpected information about Lana’s way of life. Lana then shared with me, “And this is why I don’t normally go to Happy Hour on Friday with all our friends in the program; it’s not because I don’t want to be with all of you; it’s because I celebrate the Sabbath.” Lana rested at home from sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday. In a bit confusion on that Friday, I offered to Lana that I would carry her backpack myself, but that idea was unrealistic since I was also carrying a backpack heavy with books. And in fact, Lana preferred carrying her own load, she simply wanted to reach home to put her own backpack down in her place, and begin the Sabbath celebration, lighting candles and enjoying rest at the end of the school week. As we now walked along Walnut more briskly, Lana went on to describe how she observed the Sabbath in her home by refraining from schoolwork and spending a day that celebrated, received and reflected. Lana loved graduate school and the creative processes that she engaged in all week long through her writing, presenting, discussing, organizing, teaching; all of which she lay down every Friday evening for a full 24 hour period. My walk home with Lana that day started my own journey of claiming Sabbath rest as a vital part of a productive, industrious, full and rich life.