Symbolism and St Lucian imagination

| May 29, 2016
Harvey Cenac

Harvey Cenac

All religions in the history of the world have made use of symbolism, for every religious movement has attempted to express man’s basic experience of the holy and the transcendent.

Saint Lucians find themselves at the crossroad of having to acknowledge their religious holy day, the Sabbath Day, which  has now been set apart for Nomination Day, Saturday, the Sabbath day for approximately 35,000 based on one account.

And having to go to the polls on June 6, 2016, which they have come to interpret after the book of Revelation 13: 18, which speaks about the mark of the beast and the symbol 6.6 .6:  June (6) month of the year (6) day of the month and 2016, which by some accounts conclude the symbol we crowned 666: Mark of the Beast.

To some, what a dark day in Saint Lucia’s history regarding the government in this election year, having to deal with the sacred, the holy and the unholy.

So far, symbolic communication is, in great part, the product of projective or creative imagination, encoding or transforming psychic experience. There is indeed the need to explain a little perspective and give the meaning of the word Sabbath.

The Sabbath Day is technically Saturday, which is the seventh day of the week. In our culture, Sunday, the first day of the week, is most often considered to be the Sabbath.

In Revelation 1:10, Sunday is referred to as “the Lord’s Day”, so it became the regular day of worship for the early Church as a perpetual celebration of the Lord’s resurrection, which took place on a Sunday.

Historically, then, Sunday took on Sabbath significance and, while it doesn’t technically replace Saturday as the Sabbath, it can be observed as a Sabbath.

In Romans 14:5, Paul wrote: “One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.”

Prohibitions for Sabbath observance included a person not being allowed to throw hot water because that was considered to be cleaning. A person not allowed to wear false teeth, because they would be tempted to pick them up if they fell out of their mouth. This was considered to be carrying a load.  A person would be allowed to spit on a rock, but not on the ground, because the spit may create a tiny furrow in the soil. This was considered to be plowing.

Photo courtesy

Photo courtesy

In 1611, a set of laws and statutes were adopted by the Jamestown settlement of Virginia and, according to History of American Law (Lawrence Friedman), it contained the following criminal code, every Virginia minister was required to read “Articles, Laws and Orders” to his congregation every Sunday and, among other things, parishioners were reminded that failure to attend church twice each day was punishable in the first instance by the loss of a day’s food.  Virginia law in 1662 required everyone to resort “diligently to their parish church” on Sundays “and there to abide orderly and soberly”.

Acts of necessity are always permitted and encouraged.

In the book of Mark 2: 23-27, we could conclude that there are two things that can take place on the Sabbath.

One is acts of necessity and the other is acts of mercy, which are always permitted and encouraged according to Mark 3:1–6.

Also, we must ask the question, what is the purpose of the Sabbath?

The purpose of the Sabbath is, first, remembrance and, secondly, rest. The idea of the Sabbath is as much a day of rest as a day of remembrance.

Remembrance in that God compared the Sabbath to their time of slavery and how he delivered the Hebrews out of slavery (Deuteronomy 5:12–15 and Exodus 20:-11) and they were then told to rest.

The principle of the Sabbath: It is not about a “day” because the ultimate rest is in Christ (Col 2:16-17, Hebrews 4:11).

We must take the full counsel of scripture and look at the New Testament: the Sabbath that is virtually non-existent (John 20:19, 1 Cor16:2, Rev 1:10, Acts 20:7).

The Sabbath is not about a “day.”

Now let me pose a question to my fellow Christian friends.

What would Jesus Christ do on nomination day?

I would like to think he would render unto Caesar the things that are Caesars. There is nothing wrong with the government of Saint Lucia scheduling Saturday as Nomination Day.

Now regarding June 6, 2016, Saint Lucia need not worry.

In 1981, America chose a president with the name Ronald Wilson Reagan. Ronald (6 letters) Wilson (6) Reagan (6). Was he the beast?

By now we all know he was one of America’s most loved presidents. It was just a myth. Even so, June 6, 2016, is just a myth.

My question to you is what are your values? You should value your vote and vote your values!

Harvey Cenac

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About the Author (Author Profile)

Sir Ronald Sanders is Antigua and Barbuda’s Ambassador to the United States and the OAS. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies at the University of London and Massey College in the University of Toronto. The views expressed are his own

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