As many of you know, Monday's are my regularly scheduled time off from the life of the congregation and time to find rest for the rest of the week. I even have it in my phone, on my calendar as a reminder. Sometimes that regularly scheduled appointment for Sabbath rest goes unnoticed. So, I pushed the button to activate Siri and asked her to schedule an appointment with the Bishop on Monday and her response to me was - "you already have an all day appointment called Sabbath. Do you still want me to make the appointment?"
This event alone made me think of all the times my Sabbath rest was brushed aside for one appointment. More importantly, it says awful lot about the state of the world we live in. If I asked the question- "How many of you regularly take a Sabbath rest?" - I think the number one answer might be "what is Sabbath." The follow up, of course, is - how many of you are able to keep it. I was surprised that I had to have the software on my phone remind me of the thing that God makes available to us. If God found time to take a break, God intends us to do the same. In the professional world that is called modeling behavior. And it starts at the very beginning of THE story (see Genesis 1). But Sabbath is more than scheduling time off, it is taking a rest (a break) from all of the things that consume us during the other 6 days of the week. In the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) we find regulations of Sabbath to include no work. This is like enforcing no cell phones at the dinner table. Mostly though, these laws were placed in the life of the community to do what God did - rest. The word in Hebrew can also mean to cease. AND the even better part of what God does in the story of creation is to bless this day, set it apart and make it holy. Therefore, the ceasing, the rest, the Sabbath is something we need reminded to do as part of our healthy relationship with God and with one another so that we don't go phoning it in. Her's to praying attention - Pastor Andy