First Presbyterian Church

A Sabbath of complete and total rest

God’s grace and peace to you this day!

In our Lenten Bible Study this week we read an article by Molly Baskette that talked about the Jewish Day of Atonement an how it correlates to our Christian Ash Wednesday. In the beginning it was a full day of silence, reflection and taking inventory of our lives. Leviticus says it is a “Sabbath of complete and total rest…”

When was the last time you enjoyed a full day of Sabbath? Or even a half day of Sabbath? We want to be busy people. In that same article Barbara Brown Taylor is quoted as saying that we are a generation afflicted with Sabbath sickness: “the affliction that strikes when our bodies and minds finally stop their frenetic pace of activity. We get antsy and crabby, and our minds instinctively look for a way out: eating, surfing, shopping, emailing, tidying, puttering, sexing ourselves back into distractedness.”

The literal meaning of Sabbath is STOP. Stop and sit with your feelings and thoughts: regret, sorrow, grief, anger and even joy and allow God to speak into those deep places of your life that you only gloss over or even forget because of life’s busyness. God offers a balm to heal and God wants to remind you of God’s love for you. Stop and let God’s presence wash over you in your deepest hurts, pain and joy.

One of our group challenged us to take a time of Sabbath between now and Easter. I invite you to join us in that challenge, that exercise, that discipline. Carve out an hour or two, a half a day or a whole day, whatever you can manage. Spend that time in conversation with God. Let God hear you and then STOP and listen for God’s healing and comforting and life-giving words to you.

What grace and peace God offers!

Pastor Judy