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

Posts tagged ‘sabbath moment’

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

 

 

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The Urgency of Sabbath Moments

Dear Sabbath Seekers,

I had the distinct privilege of experiencing my first tornado watch this week.  Fortunately, no tornado materialized here but those in Adairsville, Ga were not as fortunate.  My prayers are with those people who lost so much on Wednesday morning. 

As I sat watching the TV, which by the way had non stop weather coverage from 10 am until 7 pm Wednesday, the radar gave a detailed picture of how the storms were moving.  Whenever they detected a wind rotation an immediate tornado watch was issued.  And I must admit it lulled me into a false sense of control.  I didn’t realize how fast those rotations can develop…as you will see.

I was pretty fixated on the TV because they had been forecasting severe weather in our area between 12 and 2.  At 12:30 I was getting ready to go pick Arianna up from Pre-K and there was nothing going on in our area so I felt confident that I was clear to go pick her up.  About one mile from my apartment and still about 8 miles from her, the tornado sirens went off.  I froze for an instant…what should I do?  All morning the weather folks have been saying don’t go out and if you are in your car seek shelter immediately.  Did that apply to me?  (Honest that was exactly my thought at the time). 

So what did I do?  Kept driving.  I called my daughter to get her advice and she was on the road too.  We decided that it was best to get to our destinations if possible and I could always stop at her house on my way to school if it got bad.  She has lived through a few of these and said most of the time no tornado forms and this is just a precaution.  However, she added, you will know if it gets real black and the air feels eerie.  Yeah, right!  But again I was confident and all I wanted to do was be with Arianna. 

As I made the turn to within 1 mile of her the sky turned black, the rain was coming in sheets, the lightening was hitting fast and I imagined my car flying through the air and landing on top of a witch on a bike.   And the other part of my brain was saying loud and clear “If this is a tornado, I have to be with Ari.  I need to be with Ari.” 

Well, I made it and went into the school where the kids had been put into an inside room awaiting what we had been predicted as a 1:16 arrival.  It was 1:10.   I sat on the floor next to Ari, who acted nervous but I wasn’t sure if it was because of the unusual routine or the fact that Bobby, her ‘boy’ friend, was sitting next to her. I began to pray silently that God would protect this group of little children and spare the community while simultaneously praying that all tornadoes would dissipate and no more loss would be incurred that day. 

Suddenly, the lights went out and someone said “it’s here.”  Before I could even react the lights went back on – not because the power had been miraculously restored but because someone had leaned on the light switch!  But it was here and as we waited nothing happened.  Thank you, Jesus.  

A tremendously heavy rainstorm hit but no tornado.  After about another 10 minutes parents began taking their kids home.  Before we left, Ari and I went to the bathroom. 🙂  

All of this is to say that those thoughts of having to be with Ari reminded me of how important she is to me and how powerful the pull was to be in her presence.  It also is a great description of how we can approach our Sabbath Moments. 

Is there a powerful pull to be in God’s presence?  How often do you feel that compulsion to be with God?  Sabbath is a time for us to experience that desire to be with God and only God and to be as close as we possibly can be. 

May that force be with you everyday

Blessings,

Nancy

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