Slideshow image

I am late writing this newsletter article (I missed the deadline - the deadline that I set!).  I’m late because my week was extremely busy and I was rushing to get everything done and, in fact, did not get nearly as much done as I had hoped to.  I was feeling behind and stressed and overwhelmed when I sat down to read the readings for the first Sunday in March and stumbled upon this verse:“Remember the Sabbath day, and keep it Holy.” - Exodus 20:8 

I am a firm believer in keeping Sabbath and I highly value it as a spiritual practice, but I needed the reminder.  It is so easy to get caught up in our busy-ness and to fall into old habits of trying to prove our worth by how much we can get done or falling into old beliefs that we can’t possibly stop, because too much is depending on us.  “REMEMBER the Sabbath day…” Throughout scripture God reminds us again and again that we need to stop and rest.  God knows our human tendency to think that what we do is what gives us value.  God knows that we too often think we can handle everything ourselves and don’t need anyone's help, including Gods.  God knows our tricks of hiding from our own fear, and grief, and hurt by keeping ourselves too busy to think.  God knows all of this and God commands us to stop and to rest.  The word Sabbath comes from the Hebrew word sabat, which means “to rest.”  In commanding us to remember the Sabbath, God commands us to remember to rest.

Lent is a wonderful time to practice different ways of keeping this commandment.  By finding time for quiet reflection during this season, we can also make room for much needed rest.  Rest is not a selfish luxury, but an important part of a healthy spiritual life.  Stopping to rest reminds us that we are not God - that the world will keep turning even when we aren’t helping it along.  Stopping to rest gives us space to listen to God - to hear the words God would speak to our hearts.  Stopping to rest honors the limitations of our humanity, caring for the bodies that God created.  Stopping to rest helps remind us that our worth and value is given to us by God without our having to do anything to earn it.

As we continue our Lenten journey this month, I invite you to set aside intentional time for remembering God’s command to Sabbath - to stop and rest.  Set aside some time each day for quiet prayer, or try a new spiritual practice like zentangle or meditation (join us for adult forum to learn more about these practices!).  If you are able, choose a day out of the week to keep as a Sabbath - whether it is Sunday or a different day - a day to stop working for 24 hours.  However you can, make a point to carve out time in your life to breathe, to pause, to stop, and to rest.  Remember God’s gift of Sabbath, remember God’s gift of Holy Rest.

Make time to join us on Wednesday evenings for the sung liturgy of Holden Evening Prayer March 6, 13, 20 at 6:30pm.  Or simply set aside quiet time for prayer and reflection.