Archive for category #sabbathrest
Read: Leviticus 25.8 (NRSV)
The year of Jubilee is the year after seven sets of seven years. It is a celebration of grace and forgiveness.
Today we lift this aspect of Sabbath as we prepare for a time of Jubilee at Easter. Think of the books, tools, and serving dishes you have been meaning to return and take them back to their owner. Even more weighted is the opportunity to forgive debts, grudges, and hurts that you have carried for years and years.
The 50-year anniversary is golden because it is a time of grace and forgiveness. Couples who celebrate Jubilee anniversary highlight the occasion with a renewal of their wedding vows. Most this it is a celebration of insurance or persistence, instead it is a time of letting go of what is best forgotten for the sake of the relationship and reclaiming the union in Christ that keeps them strong.
What items might you return, forget, forgive, or let go to heal a broken relationship? What grudges could you forgive that will make way for reconciliation? Try to see the opportunity that each Sabbath as a mini time of Jubilee. Do all in your power to make right the relationships that make up the community faith.
Prayer: God, give me the courage to forgive to the degree I desire to be forgiven.
Active Rest: Rest. Just rest with God. And ask God to heal our spirit and set us free to live in faith.
Sabbath Rest – A Day Planned for God (Day 5 will be tomorrow, Take time for the Sunday interruption)
Genesis 1 (NRSV)
Are you a Day-Planner person? To what degree do you plan: Hour-at-glance, Day-at-a-glance, or a Month-at-a-glance? Maybe you are happy keeping up with what month or season with your own system. The change in routines from this pandemic year has made us all question what day of the week it is a few times. But our task now to finding ways to be more intentional with God is essential to our spiritual journey, now and all life long. God creates with purpose as seen in
the first chapter of Genesis. Let this become our practice.
Look back over the past four calls to action. Have you acted upon these? If so, Praise the Lord! If not, take this holy day and review the calls to action: What will be your holy place for prayer and study during these days of the Lenten season? Name it and claim it and tell others your plan. What has so stained your heart and mind or spirit and attitude that it speaks of the hurt rather than of Christ in you?
Wash a load of clothes or the car, or take a bath as an exercise, not in work, but as repentance and cleansing. Think hard about the daily witness you share. Is your lack of joy the message to share with the world? Are your grumpy thoughts and words and non-verbal glares speaking of the power the Holy Spirit has to heal, forgive and love?
Rest: This is a day to rest from our labor and make certain we are working on the things God calls us to be and become. Put down the book and get to it. Be ready, this week will have new challenges.
Prayer: Dear God, I give you myself today. Thank you for giving us this time together. Help me not be distracted. Show me the way you would have me go. Let my rest be in your strength. Amen.
1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude. 2 And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done. 3 So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation. [NRVA]
Mark 2:27 Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made for people, not people for the Sabbath.
Howard Thurman, a preacher, teacher, dean, and mystic, was an black preacher that knows the human condition and the path of a spiritual giant. He shared in sermon and later in in his many books and writings: he describes….
[The Coming to the end of one’s rope… we can’t go on. We just don’t have enough physical energy to move another step or do another chore or face another crisis,
And from some where we find what we call a “second wind” we are able to tap resources that were previously unaccessible. The body seems to know where the secret is and the energy flows. Researches can give descriptions of what happens, but what makes this possible, from where does this second surge come, just when it need to arrive to finish our work
[Though his ministry span from 1900 to 1980] He knew then as we know now: under In uncertain times, we too able to go beyond, the limits of our bodies, with the renewal of our minds, ..and so it must be true with our spirit, also.
It is in the moments of crisis we discover again and again there are resources of spirit, additional resources, other power, new life, That we ONLY discover in the very tests of life. It is here that we find the amount we CAN do, without destroying our joy,
And it is in these moments, in times just as we live now that, This is the gift of God, the gift of God’s work, not our strength, but the necessary resources, at the moment they are required, not before, and not with any extra.] (paraphrased from his own words)
We come to moments of exhaustion and see well trained athletes pedal one more hill in hills with thinking air. We see the fruit of preparing done long ago for this very moments in the battle of competition that the victors have anticipated but not yet realized.
It is with this very breath of God that we face the days in which we live.
I tell you truly that we much cherish the concept and invitation of Sabbath. Just as we push and push and find strength to complete the spiritual heavyweight lifting that surrounds us on every side…. we come to the sabbath and find out hunger and ghost for rest….
If we have arrived at the sabbath are not weary then we have not done the work before us. The weeks of bedrest in my recent recovery have been a powerful reminder of my limitations. The current confinement we all face and test the waters to overcome, we see that it is different, uncomfortable, tentative and uncertain, where we have come to find the very certainty that brings us peace and much find the power of sabbath rest.
In rest that is a different type of work. We rest from our labors and find ourselves spent, yet hungering to hear God, but to hear God, we must stop talking, planing, worrying, preparing, stop doing and be present for God and in God.
With the exception of the first five or six years and two years in college, I have been at work on the sabbath. As a child I tagged along fully dependent on my parents choices and blessings, and in college it was rare that I missed worship, but in al, the other years I have had some responsibility in worship that might at times look, sound and feel like work. I feel I have worked on the sabbath most of my life.
It was not until I met the words of Dr Thurman that I began to immerse myself in Sabbath rest. It is not always on a Sunday, but with out time to surrender ourselves in God we never grasp the fullness God has for us all.
If i am always in control, always responsible, always managing, always going and doing then I leave little to no room for trust, faith, devotions and thus Sabbath rest. We make take turns to assure that one another finds God refreshing and renewing rest.
No this is not a devotions to sleeping. This is not an excuse to be lazy or irresponsible, it is to place all that is of worth and value and ask God to hold the reins and give us the breath, the second wind, the extra resources that we need for the week ahead.
You and I need to ask one another in keeping that sabbath. Again is not about when to cut the grass or when to take a nap… it’s a spiritual part of being a spiritual being.
Let’s practice, join me a a meditation
Closer your eyes, find a comfortable as possible position and let’s everything else got for a few precious moments,
You are a work of art that God has thrown and spun with hope, purpose and love.
You are a child of the Gods breath and have value and meaning to god when we the whole world has other words and no words for you
You have come to find food and drink for your spirit
You have come to experience peace hope and belonging
You have carried much in your mind and with your body and with your emotions.
As you hear distractions give thanks that God has given you the ability to hear, and think and be responsible
In this moment focus toy hearing in the spirt ofGods blowing and moving
Be attentive to how God is reaching out to you personally
It may come in words and sounds, it may be feeling or something better
There may be many things that keep God distance, invite God unto your heart and give your rest.
Speak these words silently to god, OR JUST LOUD ENOUGH TO HEAR YOURSELF
“be my strength be my rest”
“Be in my breath and in be my peace”
“Show me your love, your grace”
“I release my control and trust you with my life”
“ be my strength and be make rest”
Being to open your eye to see, hear, touch, and taste the goodness god has for you and for us all.
Let us pray…. ah Holy Spirit, breath into us your life, your strength, your love. Amen
Luke 10:38-42 MARY AND MARTHA
Now as they went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing.[a] Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.” [NRSV]
One sabbath he was going through the grainfields; and as they made their way his disciples began to pluck heads of grain. The Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the sabbath?” And he said to them, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need of food? He entered the house of God, when Abiathar was high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and he gave some to his companions.” Then he said to them, “The sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the sabbath, so the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath.” Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there who had a withered hand. They watched him to see whether he would cure him on the sabbath, so that they might accuse him. And he said to the man who had the withered hand, “Come forward.” Then he said to them, “Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the sabbath, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent. He looked around at them with anger; he was grieved at their hardness of heart and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out and immediately conspired with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him. [NRSV]
When someone speaks truth and it does not agree with our understanding of the truth:
- Do we learn from them or attack them
- Do we change our minds or put out minds to work how to get rid of them
- Do we admit our sin, repent and follow them or become consumed with defending our own truth.
The question is put to them
- Which is more loving?
- Which is more harmful?
To break the rule and help a person
Or to keep the rule and harm the person?
There is a third option:
maybe there ARE exceptions to the rule AND maybe telling to truth hurts when we don’t want to hear something that sounds unacceptable or inconvenient to us?
God made the Sabbath for us
The concept of sabbath rest is time to rest from labor and enjoy walking in the garden of eden with God
We are no longer in the garden of eden and thus our resting with God, retreating with God.
yet, Sabbath is a basic and integral part of our relationship with God.
Creation is ordered, formed, filled and blessed as God’s good work for our benefit. Part of the order of creation is the reservation of space and time for walking with God in the Garden, Sabbath.
Q: What can you do today that would most reconnect you with the God of creation having a desired to be in a good relationship with you?
Is it for our benefit or God’s
In have a question: if there are two thousand years between Adam and Eve and Moses, where is are the instructions about the sabbath.
The opportunity is built into creation but not teach for thousands of year’s.
The direction to keep the sabbath holy begins in creation, is assumed in the wilderneness gathering manna during six says, but formally observe it as a practice and tradition comes for the Ten Commandments with Moses.
our benefit to in Gods presence
Jesus gives the life-long faithful a test. What honors God the most: keeping the law, rules and traditions or healing and making someone whole.
The dilemma in this case is not about is it good to heal, rather which is better: to sin or heal someone from sin.
Not just an absence of work
It is day to trust God
So we come to the table
The Lord has prepared for us
For our benefit
Come and eat, be nourished
And be present in God and gods Spirit in you through Jesus Christ