Pastor's Blog

A Sabbath Season

A Sabbath Season

Pastor Ryan - July 1, 2024

On a cerebral level I understand that once upon a time Christians had it rough. Like, literally, being killed for the faith rough. I appreciate those Christians. If they hadn’t been willing to die for their faith THE Faith might not have been handed down. I might not know Christ. The Christian Martyrs were truly saints. But, did they have kids?

I am a part of a group in our church called Life in Christ with Kids. We are families with children of various ages, and we want to live out our faith. Don’t get me wrong, being martyred and trying to live a faithful life with children are, probably, not even comparable. But I know the reality of trying to be faithful and meet the scheduling needs of my kids. They have sleepovers and practices that all happen on Wednesdays and Sundays. The never-ending parade of projects and homework and after school activities.

There seem to be a lot of clashes between what the world asks of them and what we want for them, namely, to practice their faith. You know, Youth Group, worship, camp, etc. 

So, as summer arrived, I was excited to hit the chill button and not have to have all the push-and-pull of the regular season. It’s summertime. Go outside and play. No structured time. No appointments and drop-of/pick-up times. Thanks be to God. 

Summer is a kind of Sabbath. Sabbath is a time given to us from God. A literal gift from God to not have to meet obligations. An intentional time to slow down and switchgears. Biblically speaking this gift is supposed to be one day in Seven. For most that day is Sunday, which then makes that day a good choice to have worship. That day could be any day of the week, though. I tend to practice the Sabbath on Friday, cause, you know, I work Sundays.

The practice of purposefully slowing down is hard. We don’t do that well. We don’t like going slowly. But when we are constantly racing, we miss out on reflecting on this gift of life. We quickly go from one thing to the next. The rush can be manic, and addictive. 

While we are still in the throes of summer make an intentional decision to slow down, and as you do so look around. Experience life differently. Pay attention to where God is in that moment, whether that is in the world around you or maybe in your internal monologue.

Here’s the challenge I want to give you this summer: get in the slow lane. Purposefully get in the longest line in the grocery store. Merge into the slow lane while driving. Short circuit your desire to do everything as quickly as possible.

When you change speeds, your soul will be thrown off its normal paces. You will be frustrated and all the feelings telling you to move and get going will well up. Let them wash by. Be okay with being slow. Breathe and look around. Where is God in all this? God is present. Your body will be telling you “this is stupid,” “this isn’t necessary,” all the things we have trained ourselves to tell ourselves. Acknowledge those feelings, then push past them to search for the presence of our Lord. 

Stop. Smell the roses, literally. Take your shoes off and walk barefoot in the grass. Smile and say hello to the person in line with you. This life is a beautiful gift from God. Drink deeply and savor it.