Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Searching for Rest, Renewal and Restoration

We enter into a season where busy schedules, full calendars, frequent car trips, and mounting To Do Lists grow. The summer season has always been one of increased activity for me. Regardless of what occurs during the other seasons, summer seems to be pumped full of family gatherings, parties, community events, and transitions. I look fondly upon these activities, these moments of life-building. Yet, in the midst of the BBQ's, pool parties, road trips, and holiday celebrations I find myself searching for renewal. When do we stop? When do we rest? Where are the places we find restoration? 
Within our community and many other faith communities around the globe we proudly hoist up Micah 6:8 as part of our mantra, that which has shaped our very ethos. We are a community driven to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God. This scripture is embodied in our various outreach programs, Sunday School classes, and worship services. We are thinkers, we are doers, we are activists, teachers, and guides. We are constantly in the season of scriptural summer. Yet... I wondered if we have forgotten to balance Micah 6:8 with Exodus 20:8-11. Just as we are called to be active participants in embodying the reconciling kindom of God, we too are called to participate in sabbath. We are called to find space and time for rebirth and resurrection. 
Consider the words of Abraham Joshua Heschel who said, “Learn to understand that the world has already been created and will survive without the help of man.  Six days a week we wrestle with the world, wringing profit from the earth; on the Sabbath we especially care for the seed of eternity planted in the soul.” Or perhaps Eugene Peterson, who said, "Sabbath is the biblical tool for protecting time against desecration.  It is the rhythmic setting apart of one day each week for praying and playing – the two activities for which we don’t get paid, but which are necessary for a blessed life.”
We all need time set apart from the chaotic rhythm of life. I would encourage you to find ways in your life to work to honor both callings, that of action and renewal. In the season of commotion find time to be, to play, to stop and become more aware of the beauty that surrounds you. May this week present you with opportunities for rest, renewal, and rejuvenation.

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