Dear Meeting House Family,
Happy summer! The rhythms of work and rest have been part of our human existence from the beginning as far as we can tell. God sanctified time, making the Sabbath holy, commanding that we take time apart from our usual busy-ness to spend with God. So we worship together, pray, study scripture, tend to one another along with our Diaconate and Stephen Ministry, and volunteer with one of our many mission partners. Or we can simply spend more intentional time with our loved ones and neighbors. It is surely a leap of faith in this high-tech, constantly-connected culture to take time off from our daily lives and unplug to spend time growing closer to our creator, God, our inspiration, the Spirit, and our role model in living and dying, Christ. But it’s a key ingredient in our discipleship.
As you vacation and travel, as you pick out summer reading to pack, think about taking a Bible too. I also recommend the recent Sabbath as Resistance: Saying NO to the Culture of NOW, by Walter Brueggemann, as well as the classic The Sabbath, by Abraham Joshua Heschel. Consider devoting some time each day for some spiritual reflection and renewal. And in the fall, take a leap of faith in joining one of our many Christian education classes, Bible studies, or small groups to continue your walk with God more intentionally.
“What is the Sabbath?” the late Rabbi Heschel asked. “Spirit in the form of time.” He described this holy time as “a day of independence of social conditions.” He wrote, “The Sabbath is not time for personal anxiety of care, for any activity that might dampen the spirit of joy. The Sabbath … is a day for praise.”
And Brueggemann, Heschel’s more contemporary Christian theologian, wrote of God’s holy Sabbath as
… not only resistance . … It is an alternative to the demanding, chattering, pervasive presence of advertising and its great liturgical claim of professional sports that devour all our ‘rest time.’ The alternative on offer is the awareness and practice of the claim that we are situated on the receiving end of the gifts of God.
These are radical words for God’s radical people!
Soon we will welcome Rocky back from his sabbatical—an extended period of Sabbath and renewal. And together we look forward to growing with you in faith and practice, in our ongoing, daily journey following Christ, in the rhythms of work and rest and discipleship which God has called each of us to in our baptisms.
To connect with Rev. Stanford, please click here.