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

Posts tagged ‘Sabbath time’

Sabbath Prep

Dear Sabbath Seekers,

726115044I just read an article on Sabbath wisdom that talks about taking steps to make Sabbath time holy time.  It lists a set of rituals done prior to and on Sabbath that elevates the time of Sabbath above ordinary rest to an intentional level of sacred space.

The author, Sara Schley, who has written Secrets of the 7th Day:  How Everyone Can Find Renewal Through the Wisdom and Practices of the Sabbath, lists ways to make preparation for Sabbath that include getting as much off your desk as possible prior to Sabbath but not taking any work home, tidying up the space in which you will spend your time and cooking ahead. 

?????Making sure your physical space actually provides a restful environment can bring you into the ambiance of Sabbath quickly.  Not having to look at a messy living room will calm your mind and you won’t be thinking about how much work you have to do – which could abort your Sabbath rest.  Music, candles, warmth and pleasing aromas help switch your mind from work to rest. spa relax

Once the physical environment has been primed to facilitate a Sabbath feeling, participating in some rituals can set the time apart from ordinary time. Some people offer a blessing of the wine or the food.  Blessing those who are present changes us and those who are blessed as we open ourselves up to seeing one another as beloved creations. 

relaxing-dayWhether you eat, listen to music, engage in conversation or take a nap the intention of every action is to change the tone of the gathering to one that beckons us to a deeper level of attention and awareness.

And, nothing, nothing, nothing is to be done – dishes or clean up.

The transition is complete until it is time to transition back into the every day world of work, hopefully 24 hours later.

Ahh…I’m ready to start my Sabbath right now. 

“As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24.15

Blessings,

Nancy

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Sabbath Moments Lock Down

Dear Sabbath Seekers,

Well, I find myself on my quarantine or lock down for the week-end.  Seems that I have been bitten by some little eight legged creature or one of his/her cousins and my body is not happy.  After a steroid injection and 4 prescriptions for more steroids and antibiotics, I was also told not to be around people who had compromised immune systems or infants because it might be staph or worse MRSA.  Oh joy!  And, of course, both groups of people were on my social calendar this weekend.  So, I’m in my apartment with lots of time on my hands.

Perhaps that is the good news.  I have no major distractions or things I have to do drawing me away from good quality time with myself or with God.  The steroids have given me an incredible burst of energy so I am a bit like the energizer bunny not content to just sit and waste time on the TV or computer games. 

Today is a day to reflect, write, pray, talk to God and just be.  I plan to start with some scripture delving into what it is saying to me at this moment in my life.  I want to listen for what God is telling me through this scripture and how I can apply it to my life.  There are several ways to find a scripture – just open the Bible and point (always tried and true), use the daily reading from any number of websites (Bible Gateway is good), read the devotion for the day from your devotional book, or pick your favorite Psalm or story…you get the idea.  Using a different translation from the one you usually read is another good way to hear the scripture in a new voice and listen for new insights. 

So that is my intention for my Sabbath time with God, and now that I have let you know I have some accountability partners.  Often my good intentions never come to fruition because the accountability factor isn’t there.  Do you find that is true for you?  You intend to do something like prayer, quiet time, devotions or Bible study and then before you know it the day has gone by and your intentions went with it. 

Thanks for being my accountability partners.  I hope you have someone in your life to whom you can turn for encouragement and support to carry out your intentions.  If not, ask someone you trust and offer to be his/her partner. 

Here’s to a ‘be-ing’ kind of day and, although I wouldn’t wish the reason for one on you,  I hope you can carve one out this week too.  And next week as well…I’ll be away next weekend, hopefully!  So I won’t be publishing a Sabbath Moment.  Two weeks of ‘be-ing’ is a good thing.  Enjoy and be blessed.

“Be still and know I am God.”  Psalm 46.10.

And, friends, here is the passage I opened to when I began my Sabbath moment….God is good, all the time!

“May the Lord answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.  May he send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion.  May he remember all your sacrifices and accept your burnt offerings.  May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.  We will shout for joy when you are victorious and will lift up our banners in the name of our God.  May the Lord grant all your requests.”  Psalm 20.1-5

Peace and Joy,

Nancy

Sabbath Moment Frame of Mind

Dear Sabbath Seekers,

I traveled back to Western New York this week to see friends and family and I accomplished that goal.  In the 8 days I was home I shared 11 meals with friends and family members I have not had a chance to see much of in the last 9 months.  It was great fun even if not so good for my waistline. 

And I had the wonderful opportunity to worship with my church on Sunday experiencing a rabbi leading our music portion of the service.  We sang Psalms in Hebrew, literally gathered around a table to share communion, clapped to old spirituals, and  listened as the Word of God came to life in our midst.  What a treat to use the language of the Jesus as part of our worship and to have a rabbi connecting us to the tradition of our Lord.  It was a glorious way to start my week and it felt like the Sabbath celebration continued throughout the week.

Have you ever had a week like this where the Sabbath joy just flowed from one day to the next?  I know for me it was the sharing of time, conversation and meals with people I know and love that contributed to that feeling.  And, yes, I will admit I didn’t accomplish all the tasks I wanted to get done on this trip home, but looking back I realized that those chores will always be there for me to finish.  For now it is good that the relationships that mean so much to me sustained me in a Sabbath frame of mind.

It was a gift I had not expected; and yet, isn’t that what Sabbath is?  A gift we did not expect that sustains our spirits and fills us with joy and thanksgiving that God would love us so much to provide such an opportunity each week or each day if we choose it.

“Praise our God! His deeds are wonderful, too marvelous to describe…Let every living creature praise the Lord.”

Psalm 150.2,6

Blessings,

Nancy

A Unique Experiment

Dear Sabbath Seekers,

I was re-reading Tilden Edwards’ classic book, Sabbath Time.   He points out what we all know about the pace of today’s lifestyle.  He describes it as an “oscillation between achievement and some form of mind numbing private escape.” (Sabbath Time, p. 16, Upper Room Books, 1992). The Sabbath offers an alternative to this lifestyle by providing a unique opportunity to the world and the people who take it seriously to stop oscillating at the speed of sound and to rest.

Edwards calls it an alternative that has been “tested by scripture, tradition and the fresh movement of the Holy Spirit.” (Ibid, p. 17).  And each of us has a choice as to whether or not we will participate in this alternative.

We all know that, but what I like about Edwards’ thinking here is that he kicks it up a notch to state that we are “the experiment in the continuity of this alternative.” (Ibid, p. 17).

Think about that.  Whether or not we practice Sabbath keeping determines whether or not this alternative as prescribed by scripture continues as a viable way of life.   And from the looks or our culture and our busy way of life, we are not conducting a very successful experiment.

Sabbath truly is a lifestyle choice, albeit a hard one.   So for this week let’s kick it up a notch ourselves and conduct our own experiment.

Set aside at least 6 hours for a full Sabbath experience.  If you can do a full 24 hours go for it.  In this time use whatever ‘moments’ have worked best for you.  You may go to a park and take a walk.  You may invite friends in for good food and conversation – only remember you cannot spend your time working on the food.  You may want to sit quietly with God and listen.  You may want to explore beauty in and around you.  You may want to worship.

Whatever refreshes your Spirit and reconnects you to God is your goal for a minimum of 6 hours.  Let’s see what the results are of this unique experiment of which you are a part.

Blessings,

Nancy

 

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