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“So then, a Sabbath rest still remains for the people of God; for those who enter God’s rest also cease from their labors as God did from his. Let us therefore make every effort to enter that rest.”

Hebrews 4:9-11a

Most of us probably have magnets on the front of our refrigerators holding reminders of appointments, grocery lists, family chore assignments, pictures or any number of other things that remind us of important tasks or people.

Recently, I had my refrigerator give me a needed reminder that I could hardly believe. I have an icemaker and water dispenser on the freezer door of my refrigerator. I was standing at the door pressing the buttons to get some cubed ice and water, when suddenly everything went dark on the display panel and things stopped functioning. I opened up the refrigerator and no light came on. I started pressing other buttons on the display panel and nothing would work.

I was hoping it was just a circuit breaker issue and not my refrigerator going out. I went to the basement and no circuit breakers were tripped. When I came back upstairs, there was a code showing on the display panel that simply read ‘Sb.’ I found the manual for the refrigerator, but nothing in the book gave me any indication on what ‘Sb’ meant. So, I decided to ‘google’ the make and model of my refrigerator and see what I could find.

Google was very helpful! This is what it told me: “The display shows ‘Sb’ or ‘5b’ while in Sabbath mode. The Sabbath Mode is a feature that disables portions of the fridge and its controls in accordance with observance of the Sabbath and religious holidays within the Orthodox Jewish community.”

I had to read the explanation several times. I laughed and thought, I had no idea I had an Orthodox Jewish refrigerator! In the Jewish tradition, Sabbath begins at sundown Friday and lasts until sundown Saturday. Sabbath is a time to rest from all work, to worship, and to offer gratitude to God. It is the fourth commandment of the Ten Commandments that reminds us to observe the Sabbath day and keep it holy.

In the midst of the ongoing disruptions and restrictions of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is still hard to keep the days straight and without our regular rhythm of gathering for worship, it is hard to keep track of our Sabbath day. Yet, I’m thinking maybe my refrigerator was trying to tell me something about being intentional in keeping Sabbath time. So, even in the midst of ‘mixed up’ days, may we all seek to keep a Sabbath time when we rest from our work and give thanks for all that God has done and is doing in our lives!

Blessings,
Jenny

P.S. I have no idea how my refrigerator got into ‘Sb’ mode, but Google also told me how to clear the codes and restart my refrigerator!