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

Posts tagged ‘Jesus’

Advent as Sabbath

Dear Sabbath Seekers,

Now that we are about to begin the third week of Advent it has dawned on me that Advent is in many ways a four-week Sabbath experience.  Or it could be.

Advent is a time of waiting and the word itself means coming.  So it is, for Christians, a time of waiting for the coming of Jesus.  It is a time of preparation where we review our readiness for the arrival of the one who will change the world’s view of everything; and, if we let him, change us. 

Nativity-Vector

It is not necessarily a quiet waiting but rather an active waiting as Parker Palmer calls it and, yes, that active waiting can be quiet.  It can also, however, be a time of activity that requires us to open ourselves up to what it means to be a follower of Jesus.  It may require some extra time with the Bible. It may require some extra time with a spiritual advisor or director.  It may require extra time at church or in prayer or journaling. 

Unfortunately, the kind of activity we do during Advent has more to do with preparing our homes and our trees with the festive trimmings of Christmas. christmas preparation blog An exhausting endeavor for many and one that leaves little time for active reflection and soul-searching. 

(Maybe that is why we get ourselves so crazy busy each Advent season.  It is easier to do the things that exhaust us than it is to look at the things that make us uncomfortable and convict us as  followers of Jesus.  BTW this is also why I think there is so much in conflict in churches.  It detracts us from the real work of being disciples which is far harder than stirring up dissension and we can avoid the whole messy discipleship thing..but I digress)

As with a true Sabbath observance Advent is a time of celebration and remembrance.  We celebrate the joy of the one who we know is coming and we remember just how significant that coming was/is/will be for us. 

I know we are drawing close to the final countdown to Christmas, and I know how busy these final days can be.  However, what if we made an extra effort to prioritize the heart preparation for Christmas during these last two weeks and let ourselves be part of an Advent Sabbath?  What would that look like in your life?  How would this add to your Christmas preparation rather than detract from it?  What would have to change to make it happen?  What might change if you did? 

Christmas Angel

…and all were amazed at what the shepherds told them.  But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.”  Luke 2.18-19

Blessings,

Nancy

 

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A Spiritual Jump Start

Dear Sabbath Seekers,

It happened again yesterday.  A deeply committed Christian told me she feels guilty if she takes time for herself to read, study and be with God because there is so much work she has to do for other people – for God.

I fear we have taken the James passage to its extreme – ‘show me your faith apart from your works and I, by my works will show you your faith’.   (James 2.18)   I do not believe this means that if we work all the time for God  prayingthat makes us more faithful than if we take time to be alone with God.  Being alone with God is part of our call as well.  Time spent alone with God and being usable to God are two sides of the same coin.  We can’t have one without the other.

God commanded us to stop and rest, to pray, to worship, to fellowship and to be with friends and family for a weekly renewal.  Jesus took time to withdraw and go off and pray even when there was much work to be done and crowds of people waiting for him.  He also tells the Pharisees that the Sabbath is made for man and not the other way around.  (Mark 2.27)

Our spiritual energy center needs to be replenished and refreshed and taking Sabbath moments renews us and makes us more productive not less.  spiritual energy

God has given us a body that runs on energy.  We have four energy centers – physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.  If one of these centers is depleted, the other three must make up for it.  If that goes on for too long, then all the centers get depleted and we begin to feel burnout and lethargy. 

Constantly ignoring the need to restore our spiritual energy is a recipe for exhaustion and moves us farther and farther away from our energy source – God.

So, please, no more guilt for taking down time with God. 

The seventh day this week is June 21 – the longest day of the year.  Why not start with some bonus time to slow down and reconnect with God to get your spiritual batteries recharged?

“for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and hallowed it.” Exodus 20.11

Blessings,

Nancy

 

 

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