For the busy person who wants to stay connected to God throughout the week!

Posts tagged ‘Easter’

Easter: The Ultimate Sabbath

Dear Sabbath Seekers,

holy bible

I’ve said it before and I will say it again.  Easter is the ultimate Sabbath.  It is a day we observe as a high Holy Day.  It is a day we remember what God has done for us.  It is a day we rejoice and greet with cheers and Alleluia’s.  It is a day we dress up in new clothes especially purchased for this time. Easter bonnet It is a day we worship.  It is a day we spend with friends and family.  It is a day of special food and intentional table fellowship.  It is a day when we acknowledge that the past is over and the new has begun not just for a week but for a life time.  All the things that a traditional weekly Shabbat does.

Yes, it is the ultimate Sabbath.

May Easter bring you peace, rest and joy and may it remind you that you truly are part of something bigger, more powerful and life-giving than we, as humans, could ever imagine.

Fake Butterflies

“Death swallowed up by triumphant Life!  Who got the last word, oh, Death?  Oh, Death, who’s afraid of you now?”  1 Cor. 15.35 The Message

Blessings to you, Easter People, and Blessed Sabbath,

Nancy

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The Ultimate Sabbath Moment

Dear Sabbath Seekers,

I really think that Easter is the ultimate Sabbath. Easter may come as close as Christians get to the essence of a Sabbath day of rest, celebration and worship and here is why…holy bible

We stop what we are doing to celebrate.  For many people, Christian and non-Christian alike, Easter is a time to celebrate the new life that is bursting around us.  It is day where you will find more people out for a walk, attending a special event, or strolling the public parks and gardens.   Sabbath was meant to a day that is set apart and different from the other six days.  It was a day set apart to celebrate all of God’s providence and gifts.

We attend worship.  Easter is a big attendance day at church.  Like Christmas, Easter is a day for worship with the family even if you haven’t found yourself in church since Christmas.  (Not a judgment just an observation from years in the pulpit).   Sabbath worship was the highlight of the day.

We dress up.  The days of Easter bonnets may be gone, but there is still something about Easter that makes us want to dress up in a bright, new outfit of pastels and pinafores.  Easter bonnetOur Easter outfits are perfect for Easter but we often don’t wear them on any other day except Easter. On Sabbath special clothes were worn that weren’t worn during the week.

We prepare special foods.   Lamb, egg dishes, or once a year desserts grace our tables and family favorites are requested for Easter Dinner.  The specialty foods of Shabbat were traditional and eagerly awaited as dinner was prepared.

We share our dinner with family and friends.  Gathering around the Easter table whether at home or in a restaurant brings family and friends together to share the holiday.  The same was true of the Shabbat meal.  Inviting friends and even strangers to share the meal with them was a common practice of the Jews.

We express joy, gratitude and love.  The ringing proclamation that “Christ is Risen, Indeed” fills churches with joyous voices of  gratitude and an outpouring of love. The prayers of Shabbat lift up gratitude to God for their life as the chosen people and to remind them of all that God has done for them. 

We experience the depth of God’s love for us.  As Christians stand in awe at the entrance to the empty tomb and take in the magnitude of the resurrection and it what it means for us, so do the Jews remember the passover and God’s saving act in the Exodus. 

IMG_2589_optWe surround ourselves with the beauty of nature.  At Easter time buds are pushing up out of the earth after a long winter’s sleep and the colors of Spring replace the starkness of long, dark winter days.  Flowers fill sanctuaries as well as grocery stores and florist shops.  Sabbath honors the creator of all of earth’s beauty and bounty and spending time in the out of doors was a Sabbath delight.

 There is one little problem with this comparison….Sabbath is meant to be a day of rest for everyone.  For some folks (women and pastors especially)…it is not always day of rest.  So, here’s my Sabbath Moment suggestion…Pitch in and lend them a hand so no one carries the entire workload on this most exciting day of the Christian calendar.

May you be blessed this day and may new life find its way into your heart and mind.

“He is not here; he has risen, just as he said.  Come and see the place where he lay.” 

                                                                                                                           Matthew 28.6

Happy Easter,

Nancy

 

 

Sabbath Moments: Pausing to Remember

Dear Sabbath Seekers,

Today is Good Friday.  Many people question why it is called Good when such bad things happened on that day so many years ago.  The thinking is that although it was a horrible death, it brought about incredible good.  And many people pause to remember on Good Friday the magnitude of the sacrifice Jesus made for the world he loved that was hell-bent on rejecting him.

Pausing to remember is the basic underlying principle of Sabbath.  It is a day to pause and remember all that God has done for us.  On Holy Week we have two Sabbaths that bring remembering to the forefront.  One is a day to pause and contemplate the death of a good man who willingly accepted an excruciating death, offered forgiveness to those who were killing him, and who put his complete trust in God.  The second is to pause and remember that we worship a God who can overcome death, roll away our sins, and transform logic into the theologic of joy and life eternal.  That’s a lot to remember! 

And that is a lot to be thankful for and to celebrate. 

Pausing, taking time, to remember, to give thanks and to celebrate is what gives our Sabbaths and our Sabbath moments meaning and purpose.  And in turn it is what gives our lives meaning and purpose.

Pause today, Sunday and each day throughout the work to remember how blessed you are, how gracious God is, and how one man gave his life for the forgiveness of many. 

Be blessed for we know “He is Risen!  He is Risen, Indeed!”

Nancy

 

 

 

 

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