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

Posts tagged ‘light’

Sabbath Moment Reboot

Dear Sabbath Seekers,

Happy New Year!  I hope your holidays were joyful and that you were able to experience friends, family and faith in meaningful ways.

For many of us this holiday season was muted by the tragedies in Newtown, CT and Webster, NY.  I found it hard to feel lighthearted and merry this year as my heart ached for those families who were living through their worst nightmares.   However, there was a deep inner joy that was present because of the reason for the season – God’s sending of his light into a world of darkness so many centuries ago.   And that joy cannot be changed regardless of external circumstances.  I have learned that I can be sad and still have joy in my heart because of my faith.  My inner joy of faith is not the same as feeling happy.

And, perhaps, because this year’s circumstances left me so unhappy about the culture we live in, the increasing lack of respect for human life and the horrific nature of the loss around me, I found my joy a rock upon which to stand, actually, to cling. 

This joy is not a pollyanna-ish joy that just skips along on the surface with a la-de-da and fair-thee-well attitude.  This joy has taken years to develop and grow.  This joy is the result of walking with God and knowing that no matter how awful the world treats me or each other that God is the constant beacon of light calling me forth to be more than I think I can be.  This light shines on the darkness and shows me the shadows in areas that need  improvement.  Improvement that can only come from the outpouring and sharing of love.

The tragedies have shown us how incredibly good, gracious and generous people can be.  We have truly witnessed far more than  just the evil side of human nature.  There has been an outpouring of love, support, and offers of help from total strangers to total strangers who are now friends because of the love modeled and given to us by God. 

How does all of this connect to Sabbath Moments?  Without taking time out of our busy days and weeks to sit with God, to talk to God, to walk with God, we cannot know this joy and peace that comes in the midst of sadness and chaos.  Like any relationship we need to stay connected to God in order for our understanding and appreciation of the other to develop into trust. 

What is your commitment to growing your relationship with God this year?  Have you been a little lax in taking Sabbath Moments lately?  Now is the time to reboot your spiritual core and make time for God.  The tragedies are not over I am sure.  Grief, pain, death and evil are not going away anytime soon.  However, we do have the opportunity to build up our defenses against them and to be in relationship with the one whose love never ends and whose arms fiercely and tenderly hold us in our sorrow. 

How will you jumpstart your spiritual batteries this week?  May I suggest sitting and meditating on this passage:

“You are true to your name, and you lead me along the right paths.  I may walk through valleys as dark as death, but I won’t be afraid.  You are with me, and your shepherd’s rod makes me feel safe.”  Psalm 23.3b-4 (CEV)

Blessings on your journey,

Nancy

Prayerful Sabbath Moments

Dear Sabbath Seekers,

My last blog focused on the light.  Today my heart yearns for the light to shine in the darkness that came over our country yesterday.   Never has the evil of the darkness come into focus as clearly as it did when those innocent lights were extinguished in that small Connecticut town. 

The original Advent time and Incarnation are long past but even though the light has come into the world, the darkness is still trying to overcome it. 

We must not let it.   

We stand on this side of the incarnation and the resurrection.  We have a choice…we can either stay in the deathly darkness or we can choose to enter into the life-giving light. 

Choose the light.

            Choose life.

                         Choose to be connected.

                                         Choose to be connected to God and to each other.

                                                                           Choose to shine.

                                                                                                   ALWAYS.

Taking regular Sabbath breaks keeps us in the light, keeps us connected and keeps us centered in life.    

Pray for the children, pray for the families, pray for the community, pray for peace, pray for the end of violence in all of its forms and pray for God’s guidance and encouragement to move forward so we can make a difference with the light of God.

“He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted”  Isaiah 61.1

Prayerfully yours,

Nancy

Light Your Sabbath Moments

Dear Sabbath Seekers,

Advent and Hanukkah are upon us.  One, Advent, is about waiting for the light and the other, Hanukkah, is called the Festival of Lights.  Light is so precious.

For those of us who live in areas where the sun is not a frequent visitor, we know how important light is to our spirits and moods.   Seasonal Affective Disorder is called SAD for a very good reason.

Just preparing for the light can lift our spirits and many people light candles in Advent as a way to usher in the greater light of Jesus.    And the story of Hanukkah with the precious oil for the lights lasting eight days reminds us that light can bring surprises and blessings as we bask its warmth.  Light is something to celebrate.

The Sabbath was meant to be a light at the end of a week.  For six days the Jews worked and toiled through long days from dawn to dusk.  The light was there as they worked but it was not something they could afford to bask in for there was too much to be done.  But on the evening of the sixth day the candles were lit and basking in God’s gifts began.  The light of God was now the focus of the next 24 hours.  No work was to be done in order that the focus be uninterrupted.  In that light they celebrated God, each other and the fruit of the land.

For Christians, who moved the Sabbath to Sunday, the light of God is also the focus.  Many church services begin with the lighting of the candles ushering God’s light into the sanctuary.  And the services end with the taking of the light out into the world.

For your Sabbath moments this week focus on the light.   Light candles, spend time in the sunshine, or sit before a blazing fire and focus on the light as the light of God.  What does this light mean to you?  How has God enlightened your path, your life?  How are you bringing the light of God into the world?

Rest and celebrate in the power of the light.

And God said, “Let there be light and there was light. 

God saw that the light was good and he separated the light from the darkness.”

Genesis 1.3-4

Shine on,

Nancy

Words of Life in a Sabbath Setting

Dear Sabbath Seekers,

Have you ever heard a lyric from a song, read a line from a poem or experienced a description in a book in such a way that time seems to stop and you enter into the words as if they were speaking to your essence? 

Lovers have “their song” that draws them together and reminds them of the love they share.  Men and women carry phrases, one liners, or proverbs in their minds to pull out when they need to feel encouraged or to encourage others.  I have a friend who can pull up the lyrics to a song to fit almost any situation and they always add to our understanding. 

Many Christians have a favorite scripture that speaks to their heart or a hymn that sends their spirits soaring or brings a lump to their throat.  

Words have great power. 

I am drawn to words of scripture that focus on life, light and love.  “I put before you this day, blessing and curse, life and death; choose life” from Deuteronomy is one of my favorites.  As the days start to get shorter, passages about light and how the light came into the world and the darkness has not been able to overcome it buoy my spirits as it grows darker earlier and earlier.  And when I am feeling anything but lovable, the words from Jeremiah remind me that God has “loved me with an everlasting love.” 

Sabbath is a day that is meant to be filled with words of life, light and love.  Sabbath is a time when words have great power reminding us of God’s great love for us and our well-being.  Candles are lit on Sabbath to signal its beginning and announce the time to rest has come into our lives. 

This week focus your Sabbath moments around words that lift you up, that bring you life, remind you of how much God loves you and how that love lights your life.  Light some candles, put on your favorite music or hymns, read some favorite passages either from the scripture or poetry and just savor the words as they whisper to you.

“shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life” 

Philippians 2.15b-16a

Blessings,

Nancy

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