In England …, with the abolition of Roman Catholicism, a new way of life began to unfold. There were around 50 days per year on the Medieval calendar marked by feast days in which Church and festival, rather than normal work, were the order of the day. Fifty days of useless celebration (in addition to the 52 Sundays of the year) to the glory of God. Those days disappeared for the greater part. When Max Weber wrote about the “Protestant Work Ethic” and touted the superior productivity of Protestant Northern Europe to lazy Catholic Southern Europe, he forgot to note that seven weeks’ worth of working days were added to the Protestant calendar. It’s easy to be more productive when work never stops.
The Prophet Amos made this observation:
“Hear this, you who trample on the needy and bring the poor of the land to an end, saying, ”When will the new moon be over, that we may sell grain? And the Sabbath, that we may offer wheat for sale, that we may make the ephah small and the shekel great and deal deceitfully with false balances, that we may buy the poor for silver and the needy for a pair of shoes and sell the chaff of the wheat?” Amos 8:4–6
Very little has changed, it seems. We fail to honor the useless God, and in doing so, have forgotten how and why we live.
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