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“Does ‘Sabbath’ mean taking a nap?”

Whew! It’s been a busy past few weeks, and boy, am I tired. With out-of-town family traveling to cheer for our son, Samuel, at the State Track Meet, and then his high school graduation and party… it’s been a lot. First, thanks to all of you for your kindness, support, and encouragement to Samuel and our family (and for helping us celebrate!). There have been times when I’ve paused to realize how much our children are loved, and our family supported. But after all these days of activities, I think I might be ready for a nap.

The notion of nap is a not-too-subtle segue into our theme for this next Sunday: Sabbath. In our Scripture passage for this coming Sunday (Mark 2:23-3:6), the religious leaders of Jesus’ day are infuriated by the seeming lack of regard Jesus and his disciples have toward “observing the Sabbath.” The conversation leads to a pointed comment by Jesus when He says, “The Sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the Sabbath.” I wonder…what do you think about the Sabbath? Do you observe it as a day of rest (taking a nap in front of the television)? Is the idea of “sabbath” focused on what you do on Sundays (going to church, then out to lunch with your friends)? Do you use the day to spend time with your family? Do you use it to venture out to the great outdoors, and enjoy the beauty of creation during a hike? Perhaps your day of Sabbath doing some retail therapy and getting a bite to eat with a friend. But wait…does our patronizing of a store or a restaurant somehow obligate others to work, thereby disrespecting this practice of sabbath? So many questions for one seemingly simple word.

In addition to unpacking the Sabbath for humankind this Sunday, we will celebrate the arrival of many staff members from YouthWorks, who will be living at First Pres for the next several months to serve in ministry, hosting, and guiding short-term ministry teams of youth from across the country. We will bless and commission the YouthWorks staff, as well as members of our congregation who will be involved in Summer ministry work.

This is supposed to be the Summer to relax; to take a breath; to slow down. Is a Summer spent doing ministry a Sabbath? What rhythms in life do you find most healthy? How do we consider our own use of time and energy? These are all big questions, but I invite you to consider them. What does Sabbath mean to you? How do you take intentional time for rest? What patterns and rhythms for life have you discovered? Maybe you can send me some suggestions or share some of your successes. I’d love to hear from you. Hope to see you soon.      

Very truly,

Pastor Adam

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