Gathering back together!!! (Matt 24:1-14)

It has been awhile (since a blog post) & since meeting…well sort of. We gathered last Sunday — and we were in a difference space, we swapped locations with the kids so that they could decorate the Christmas tree! So we gathered in the lower level of the church. It was fun to have many gathered round the 2 tables — and it was festive feeling because it had been 2 Sundays off! First, the Sunday when worshiping with other churches with our Thanksgiving worship & then due to weather and church getting cancelled! So we, found our way back…we gathered round the table (sans coffee — don’t worry, all did survive)…we smiled & laughed & we prayed in.

And then we checked in a bit, the on-going home/lifework was to take the 2.5 minutes of stillness — and so the check-in opened space for folks to share what they had noticed/experienced, or if they preferred a different check-in people could also answer what “Advent” is.

People shared mostly around the stillness, some really not liking it, others naming that they (their minds at least) don’t really so much still. One person (to the great delight of this Pastor!) noticed how God seemed to be speaking in surround sound to them through various devotionals regarding the idea of stillness/stopping. (Go God for being consistent). Another person shared taking the time, and God speaking in that space, but then life getting busy — naming the desire to live (or be) alone as the ability to be still/quiet becomes much easier to manage. Yet another person mentioned the capacity to sit, for 30 minutes or an hour — and how in that time there would be minutes of that stillness — but how they have learned to let those moments come, that they cannot be forced. There’s a beauty here in that thought and understanding, something to the effect that we position ourselves (in every way possible) to be open to God. So we stop as we are able, we slow down as we can (even when it is hard), we work to practice disciplines/rhythms in our lives that allow God the space to speak. We can’t force God to speak (I mean, we can’t even force our thoughts to take a breather now can we?), but we open ourselves and our lives to see what God is saying to us (right now — today!). Prayerfully, we each will continue working to do just that — making space for God to have access to us, whether it’s in taking time for quiet, being diligent in devotional study, sitting in a chair, taking time for coffee/tea, being sure to go outside, or finding a stump (or a place for hunting) — may we be listening and leaning into the voice of God.

After check-in of course we turned to scripture, specifically Matthew 24:1-14. After hearing the text read twice and allowing for some silence there was an opening comment as to how it sounded a bit harsh. Others noticed that this (these challenges/conflicts) has been happening since the scripture was written down. We also even discussed briefly how scripture was written in context (2000 years ago) — and was speaking to exactly what was being experienced then, and so we are invited both to understand as much as we are able the context and specifics that the author was speaking to (then); while also seeing what scripture has to say to us (now). And that really leads into what the homework is for us this week:

  • First: to offer an interpretation of Matthew 24:1-14 for us right now. (Think about how you interpret this passage, and offer that to us when we next gather!)

But, maybe because it’s been awhile, there’s also a 2nd homework/lifework prompt. And this ties a bit more with what came up during the check-in from quiet time (and making space where God has access/rule):

  • Second: consider how you wait; how do you prepare for God during Advent? (Do you do anything special?)

And as you think about these lifework/homework assignments — it’s worth remembering what also was lifted from these verses last Sunday, the idea of the importance of endurance and the promise to those who endure (and to be sure the only way any endure is the grace of God y’all — it’s not about our ‘strength’) — but even in the encouragement to endure — let us also be prayerful that God — through grace — allows Christ’s love in us & in the world — to not grow cold, but rather to be a warmth that nurtures life!

In Christ ~
Rev. Sabrina Slater

Shhhh….and “be still…”

Last Sunday we gathered around the table. We opened in prayer. And then it was a little different. As was warned in the blog post last week — the flow for last Sunday was a little different, instead of checking in with our homework/lifework we began with scripture.

First I read Psalm 46:10a, “Be still, and know that I am God.” And then we heard read all of Psalm 46. And then again we heard, Psalm 46:10a, “Be still, and know that I am God.”

And then there was silence. Extended silence. At least 150 seconds of it (2 & 1/2 mins). *Note: indeed we all survived.* And following the silence, the invitation was to share whatever the Holy Spirit might have highlighted in the Psalm (or you), and/or to share about the “star” word that had received earlier in this year.

Before going further I must share that sharing silence at the table with all there was a gift. There was (at least seemingly) a spirit of peace & calm. Most experienced the silence with eyes closed, and while I don’t know if hearts were beating overly fast, if palms were starting to sweat, if minds were just racing racing racing — there appeared to be a moment at least of peace. AND when folks began sharing, the rush of life that can seemingly creep in seemed to stay at bay, it was like in the silence — the intentional with everyone stopping — we were able to slow the flow of time we shared — it was noticeable and it was a gift.

There was a mix of the sharing. Including one sharing their word of “Acclaim” (a definition of being to praise enthusiastically & publicly) fit perfectly with Psalm 46 — as the Psalm invites & instructs us to notice, to see what God has done & to know that God will be praised — that God will be Acclaimed! Another shared how their word “Participation” seemed both to affirm what they had been doing and then also to invite them to engage even more with new possibilities & they are learning (& we might too) different ways to be a support to families in challenging circumstances & in offering space & volunteers to help facilitate daily visitations with families going through court situations.

And much of the conversation centered a bit on “being still” — and considering what that means, how that looks. There was the naming of not being still well. There was the mention that minds keep on running — even if we look on the outside as though we are still. And then thematically hunting came up more than once, with the hunters among us naming an ability to be present while hunting — that when out of “typical” spaces, when not at home doing all the things — that there was the ability to be still — to be attentive — to be present in a way where there were not the typical distractions. And this is something to hold a bit longer…in scripture Jesus sends folks out (Sending of the 72 — see Luke 10:1-23) with nothing extra; “Do not take a purse or bag or sandals;” (Luke 10:4a)…did Jesus understand how when we accumulate much (really anything more than what we actually need) that each “thing” accumulated makes being able to focus singularly more different? Was Jesus perhaps trying to help with focus, with our easily distracted minds/lives by equipping the 72 (us) for success by expecting us to venture forward without any extra? These are worthwhile questions (insights), invitations to drop that which is not necessary and to see what we then hear (from God).

We didn’t answer what stillness is. But we did end with a (most delightful) homework assignment that invites us into (at least) silence (if not also stillness):

  • Daily 2.5 minutes of silence (maybe even some will try 5!) Whenever — but be silent/still and see what comes, see what God might be saying.

That’s all … super easy right? (And there was part of the conversation that invited us to not be cranky-pants — and perhaps being silent/still can help us out a bit with that! ūüôā )

In Christ ~
Rev. Sabrina Slater

We had a day off! :)

We had a day off. Last Sunday y’all gathered for worship but there wasn’t homework/lifework to check in with each other about and there wasn’t homework for this last week either (except of course to be listening for God, to be kind to each other…you know the regular “lifework” that is living out our faith — that is just something that we strive to do with God’s grace).

So no homework. And Sunday is coming in just a few days. So…what to expect. This coming Sunday (yes, Sunday Nov. 17th) — we will gather. I guess I should say, I’m showing up & prayerfully I bet many of y’all will too. But we’ll gather at our time (10AM). The coffee will most likely be hot, the chairs will be out and we will share laughs I imagine before we open in prayer.

But then what? I’m planning on us hearing scripture that has become familiar this year (be still…) and then for some extended silence together. AND after that extended silence, I would LOVE for us to share what is on our heart — perhaps something the Holy Spirit spoke loudly as we were still — BUT ALSO MAYBE some will feel led to share some on the “star” word that they received this year (on Epiphany Sunday). How has God been speaking to you though that word. Maybe some of y’all forgot the word — but I know (with confidence) — that at least some of y’all have not forgotten it. So how has God been speaking to you this year through the word?

This is the plan for this coming Sunday @ 10AM y’all…cannot wait to join with you around the table — there’s wisdom & love to be found — esp. on our good days — and worthwhile conversation always.

In Christ ~
Rev. Sabrina Slater

Wrapping up wisdom (clearly…)

So yesterday we gathered round the table. It was a bit cooler (temperatures did drop!) and lighter with the “fall back.” The coffee was brewing and we opened in prayer.

Then we started talking…we checked in one more time with Proverbs. Some liked chapters 30 & 31, noting that these 2 are not necessarily attributed to Solomon. We laughed a bit over whether we liked or disliked these proverbs (in general)…there was comment from a spouse that the person is a bit argumentative — thus not always so much enjoying the tone of proverbs. Another among us names not knowing quite what the author is saying — so seeking understanding (not a matter necessarily of not liking what’s being said).

And we talked about interpretations — wondering aloud what the proverb was aiming to offer with wisdom, curious if we are the fools (but seriously, those with a lack of wisdom when we really are trying though!)? At least one element highlighted with this was an emphasis on the proper order of things (in the world) and when something is out of order it just seems amiss (or as the author states, something that causes the earth to tremble under).

Much was named, verses that spoke to us for various reasons. A mention of Proverbs 31 and the high regard of the woman (wife of noble character) — we didn’t actually spend time here — though it is one worth spending time in and discussing — there was mention of how starkly contrasting she seems to be with the feminine personification of folly throughout the book…there also was an appreciation of how the author states essentially (he’s) too stupid to be a man (person). Caused some chuckles definitely! And we took most of our time talking about the wisdom of Proverbs 31:4-7; discussing the use of alcohol and realities of life. This is an important conversation, one with different thoughts, opinions and realities. We touched briefly alcoholism, trauma (often unaddressed) and how we have seen alcohol (as well as opioids) used to cope and numb the feeling of pain…this led too into a conversation centering around pain and it’s necessity. We did not exhaust the conversation, we did not go to the depths that we could have…and likely this will be an important conversation to visit again. And yet, it was beautiful to hear someone observe how often the conversation around this is often judgmental — and our call is one of love — there is more so much more that can be said here but we will leave it for now.

Y’all — we made it through Proverbs in October for the 2nd year in a row…and it was a blessing (I think at least — I know I was blessed). Next weekend — as a reminder — there will be no Adult Study on Sunday! If you gather — chat, pray — enjoy each other’s company….but there’s no homework to guide you in the week. (You know other than listening and looking for God & loving each other!)

In Christ ~
Rev. Sabrina Slater

Proverbs….week 4!

Nearly a week ago we gathered around the table that is familiar. We smiled, we prayed & we began checking in. The homework (lifework) isn’t hard (in theory) to remember, just read 1 Proverb per day — the date dictates the Proverb we happen to be on for any given day (within the month of October). And we share from there…

To a welcome of smiles and laughter there was the mention of the rich (& hilarious) imagery that is found in Proverbs. It was not loss on the group how some of the warnings found in Proverbs really can come to life for some of us and invite us to truly know that the author is rather pointedly correct in these warnings offered! (too bad perhaps we think that only for some of the proverbs?)

There was talk of the repetition of the proverbs, as well as an insight that perhaps when the proverbs seem nearly opposite of each other maybe they (the proverbs) were in reference to different situations, and for one situation one proverb is more fitting while for a different (though perhaps similar circumstance) a different & seemingly opposite proverb is more appropriate to consider. And of course there was the lifting up of a few choice proverbs that were appreciated.

However something that I’ve not been able to let go of is (and y’all I don’t think I’m making up this part of the conversation but — to be fair I have been in conversation with others about Proverbs too!) the idea/call to raise up a child in the way they should go (faith/instruction) and when they are old/older/grown they will not depart from it. There is much that can be said here and it has been my experience that many experience a real grief & concern here — today the reflection is not upon that. Instead it was on a mention of how we can know this is true…We (society as a whole) understand that when someone is abused/neglected even as a little baby — this has an impact on their life (note — this doesn’t mean someone isn’t going to thrive & enjoy a beautiful life — it does mean that experience abuse has an influence) — we know this to be true from experience, and from science & statistics too. Knowing how abuse/neglect impacts, we are invited to consider the opposite — that the offering of love and nurture has an impact as well! Think with this for me — the welcome, the smile, the kind word, the sincerity that a baby, (perhaps even before birth!), child, youth, adult receives even in just a moment/in 1 visit to a church/in one exchange in life in general — makes an impact, a real impact. I find that both beautiful, encouraging and sobering too. It allows me to hear the proverb even more as a promise (and with some unexpected scientific evidence backing it) and it invites me to take the expectation of God to love and nurture children/those in the faith/all of creation (!) , with special care, with extra prayer, with the hope that the impacts/imprints I make (we make) on others is one of a “grace”-print.

Now…also named in our time was frustration of some days being alright following/trusting the proverbs and others not so much. So indeed a prayer was offered from me to those gathered, and an invitation to offer it — the prayer being a simple, “God use me please.” Of course you can put it in your own words, but that idea of being open to what God would have you do for the day — when I’ve prayed this my day (though not necessarily what I had planned or wanted) is rich and beautiful and a blessing to me. So as we look to gather tomorrow, I offer it to us all — may we be a people who sincerely pray to God, use us (me) please! AMEN!

In Christ y’all — see you at the table!
~ Rev. Sabrina Slater

Proverbs (week 3_seeking wisdom)

We gathered round the table yesterday. In fairly typical fashion there was laughter and smiles to share as we gathered. After opening in prayer we took a moment to introduce ourselves, noting that assuredly others would join as our time continued (they did ūüôā ).

Before jumping into our check-in I did apologize for the lack of blog during the prior week — but named that everyone did know what the homework was so it should be alright. And while folks mentioned missing the blog (y’all are so kind!) indeed we were able to check-in with notes and insights from the Proverbs we had spent some time with over the week (14-19 specifically).

It was noticed by more than one person, that essentially the same things (proverbs/insights/wisdom) are being offered again and again and again…one reflection was that this is a good teaching tool and it was appreciated because we don’t always remember nor get it right (even if we do remember!); while another found it annoying. This opened the space to whom Proverbs was written to (original context), likely wealthy youth, perhaps those who likely would be in leadership (noble) positions, making repetitious teaching on wisdom rather important especially considering their decisions and access to resources would make a difference in the lives of others in their context.

Our time was spent with talk of perspectives and context. Noticing an emphasis on management of finances, and also naming a desire that Proverbs might also speak to other sorts of wealth. Some of the beauty of reading Proverbs together in this way is that it allows for so much to be considered; even with the repetition in the text it does not mean each of us will hear the same invitation from the Holy Spirit. And yes, prayerfully we continue seeking greater understanding, seeking God’s wisdom, seeking more of God — through our going (daily) to hear what God is speaking to us. And so we continue, this coming Sunday we will again gather round — and we will bring what has been highlighted through the week for all to consider — and together we will try to hear the word that God is speaking to us (today). So y’all, be encouraged & yes, the homework remains reading 1 Proverb/day.

In Christ ~
Rev. Sabrina Slater

Proverbs (starting again…)

Yesterday (yes that’s right, I am writing this on Monday! hehe! — so yesterday!) we gathered round the table. It was a bit chilly outside but fortunately we started warming up inside together! We opened in prayer before being reminded of our homework assignment(s) from the week prior:

  • to define/describe (yes again) what Sabbath is (for us)
  • to DAILY be reading Proverbs …and then sharing what the Holy Spirit is highlighting

The reminder was useful — and in fashion unlike us — there was a beginning of (mildly awkward) silence…no worries, and especially after the question of do folks answer one or both questions (yes) the sharing began.

While of note, we did not speak much to Sabbath definitions (though I do think we continue thinking about it & letting God speak to us even — or perhaps especially — in those spaces where we don’t have/know “all” the answers) but there was much to say about Proverbs. After an opening noting how wisdom is personified as a woman (shared with a bit of a grin) there was desire to jump forward to other chapters where the feminine is personified differently — but we held back, seeking to hold our engagement to where we had already read — chapters 1-5 (or even 6). A quick mention named how fools don’t follow wisdom; there was conversation on what wisdom is (is it the same as knowledge — most said, no) — holding God’s wisdom also as something different than humanity’s knowledge; there was some holding too of how to hear God’s promises — perhaps in general? — because it doesn’t seem that at least with health that our faithfulness guarantees it… Too there was some felt “poking” from the Holy Spirit in wondering if some of the descriptions (not the good ones) include us (likely), and simultaneously encouragement in thinking that perhaps we’re not “that” bad with some of the things God hates (see Proverbs 6:16-19).

And where much of our conversation arched was in how wisdom cries (or calls) out — in the street — in the shared public space (see Proverbs 1:20-33). This conversation was rich. Questions of is wisdom crying out? If (she) is — can we hear her; can we hear her above or piercing through the noise that surrounds us; are we even trying to hear? While there was mention of modern-day prophets & how, not dissimilar to the prophets of old, they are not typically well received (even by those of faith) — we did not even engage the idea of false prophets — and especially this realizing that it is not only wisdom who cries aloud in the street (listen carefully as we continue).

So how do we hear? How to be those who are open to learning, open to reproof, open to saying “sorry” after we’ve gotten it wrong? Open to turning from wickedness when God shows us a better — a more loving & God-honoring way? While there is much I (and ahem…honestly, “we” don’t know — because, well GOD) one way we turn our ears to hearing wisdom — from knowing the voice of our Shepherd — is in taking ourselves (again & again & again) to the Word of God that has been gifted to us — this is what we are doing collectively of course with this October (and prayerfully all the time, but also all Octobers while we get to journey together) — so let us continue this practice, this rhythm & this “home/life-work assignment”

  • daily be reading 1 chapter of Proverbs a day. If you forget where you are — check the date — the number will be the same. So this week we’ll be on Proverbs 7 and reading through 12 and then spending some time with chapter 13 read together as we gather next. Be encouraged as you read y’all & be listening to where God might be CHALLENGING you & also to where God might be ENCOURAGING you — let us all be open to the surprises that can come as we do this very thing!

In Christ ~
Rev. Sabrina Slater

Finishing Sabbath & jumping into Proverbs!

Last Sunday we gathered around the table. And after hellos, grabbing a seat & of course some laughter we opened in prayer.

Slightly different than usual we did have a few public service announcements including how if you receive money from a disbursement (like retirement, etc) and donate to the church — an option is to have the amount you give the church to be given directly from the account (aka — you never “touch” the monies — but they still do what you want) — this is mentioned because of the tax benefit to you! Questions — talk with Marv Fisher! Another of the public service announcements invited people to sign cards for the folks who actively serve our community as emergency service providers (be sure to sign & say thanks!). The final public service announcement reminded us that we ALL are guests in God’s church & at God’s table & that we are invited to extend the hospitality that we have (already!) received from God — to each other & any who might come! Always a good reminder for us all!

Then we checked in answering the question of how we plan to Sabbath (to stop). Many shared that they don’t (really) plan. It is just something they do. Some noticed that they didn’t like the question because they started thinking more collectively about Sabbath practices, like if they choose not to make dinner but instead go out — then someone else is not longer able to enjoy Sabbath. Some noted how Sabbath practices can and often do have gendered expectations. All in all, those gathered came from contexts where Sabbath was part of life and because of years of living in this rhythm it is not something actively planned for, just enjoyed.

And following this we turned to scripture:

  • Ezekiel 20:19-20
    • 19¬†I am the¬†Lord¬†your God;¬†follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.¬†20¬†Keep my Sabbaths¬†holy, that they may be a sign¬†between us. Then you will know that I am the¬†Lord¬†your God.‚ÄĚ
  • Isaiah 58:13-14
    • ‚ÄúIf you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight¬†and the¬†Lord‚Äôs holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way¬†and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, 14¬†then you will find your joy¬†in the¬†Lord,¬†and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights¬†of the land and to feast on the inheritance¬†of your father Jacob.‚ÄĚ For the mouth of the¬†Lord¬†has spoken.
  • Romans 14:5
    • “One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind.”

Last Sunday was unique, we listened to 3 different selections of scripture. Continuing to read & discuss Sabbath. And we listened trying to hear more from God about Sabbath. Different elements of the scripture spoke to those gathered & while there did not emerge a universally accepted definition of Sabbath in the group that is the invitation of the first homework assignment question:

  • We asked this a few weeks ago and now the question comes again: Define (describe) what Sabbath is (for you). **come ready to share of course!**
  • Our 2nd homework assignment is to begin our October rhythm — reading 1 Proverb/day. Oct. began earlier this week & don’t worry…even if you forgot start reading! 1 Proverb/day & then come with whatever God has highlighted in your reading!

Y’all I’m excited to see what God is saying (through y’all!).

In Christ ~
Rev. Sabrina Slater

Sabbath still? (yes)_Deut. 5:12-15

Last week we gathered round the table & we prayed in (and folks kept on joining — praise God — come one come all!!!).

Our check-in was answering (one or both…) of the questions about what the Bible says about Sabbath and also what scripture(s) has been most formative in shaping your/our understanding about Sabbath (what it is/do we need to observe it, etc.).

(Surprise surprise….just kidding — total sarcasm — it wasn’t surprising! It was blessing!) Different scriptures were named…Luke (the Mary/Martha text); Mark 2:27; Exodus (the commandments); Matthew 12; Psalm 92; John 5:17; Acts 20:7; and 1 Corinthians 16:2. Engaging thoughts of the Sabbath is a gift for us, considering when Sabbath is to be (Fri/Sat, or Sun?), even muddying the understanding of if we can ignore the Sabbath because Jesus seemed to do so…but then too coming back to the example that God gave, creating and then resting (and we all seemed to think that God doesn’t really need rest…as God). Brought up in this conversation too was how in the example of the commandments there are different reasons as to why to remember/observe the Sabbath because God created & then rested — and/or — because God is the deliverer out of slavery (Egypt — us all now from sin)!

AND this all (as thanks be to the Holy Spirit & grace!) led into the Scripture we held together, Deuteronomy 5:12-15:

12 “Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the Lord your God has commanded you. 13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 14 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your ox, your donkey or any of your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns, so that your male and female servants may rest, as you do. 15 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.

New International Version

Now….we did see what the Holy Spirit was making bubble up….BUT today (as promised) I am sharing an excerpt from an article I was reading last week which I think speaks DIRECTLY to the conversation we are holding…

“… It may help to be reminded that Sabbath keeping was not only about a day of the week. It was a principle in the ordering of time itself, extending outward to the seventh year, when debts were to be forgiven and the land allowed to rest. It extended even further to the jubilee, or 50th, year, when all people were to be freed and ancestral land holdings were to be restored.
Perhaps most importantly, the Scriptures teach us that Sabbath keeping is a community practice and not simply a matter of personal piety. The cultural forces of our time would have us believe that our happiness lies in a lifestyle of constant work and ‚Äúproductivity,‚ÄĚ punctuated by frequent binges of shopping. The Bible says otherwise: that our true happiness comes only from God and with God. Therefore let us as faith communities pledge to support one another in our commitment to ‚Äúremember the Sabbath‚ÄĚ and to rest in our Savior who is himself the Lord of the Sabbath. …”

Original article in Mar/Apr 2016 of Presbyterians Today: posted on Mar. 31, 2016 by Kris Haig (LINK)

So…as we continue the conversations we have been having, what the Bible has to say, the scripture(s) which have been most formative for us (& others) & even the passage above….I wonder (AND the homework is) what y’all’s answer to the following is?

  • Think about ….How do you plan to keep Sabbath? (aka — what (exactly?) do you do you prepare to stop?)

As ALWAYS — looking forward to the wisdom that will gather when we next gather round the table.

In Christ ~
Rev. Sabrina Slater

Sabbath Rest? For us…? (Gen 1:27-2:3)

Y’all….after a couple weeks with no homework (and thus no weekly blog) I find I’m rusty! And yet, last week we gathered round the table. It was the first time at the “new” during the fall/school year time (10AM). As we gathered, sharing good mornings and laughter as usual, we opened in prayer.

After prayer I named that two weeks prior when last all gathered (and I was missing) there had been conversation about who Sabbath is for, and whether we — like Jesus — can break God’s Law if needed! I also had heard that while a passionate conversation had been enjoyed by all, there had been no real agreement on what Sabbath was/is (a definition at least – that all agreed on!). SO, since the last homework questions had not been really answered we began with a check-in that answered essentially, if you observe (your understanding/definition of) Sabbath and if yes, how — or if not why not.

There were different answers and experiences. Some, really many said yes. Sabbath was desired or needed. Sabbath included a type of separation of time, for one it might mean the ceasing of work that must be done, for one it meant time in the garden — but no lawn mowing, for another it meant time where their brain was turned off of their normal work as they take care of grandkids, for another it required a reflective moment of some sort. Many wondered as to how to keep the Sabbath “holy.” Also many found not liking having to “miss” Sabbath when work deadlines required the loss of Sunday Sabbath, though one found they were also at times able to challenge in their work whether taking the time from Sunday Sabbath was necessary. Worth mentioning was how some had formative memories of what Sabbath could include from how they were raised and experienced Sabbath as a family.

After gathering, reminding ourselves of the flow of our time together (pray, check-in, listen to scripture read w/silence — “lectio devina” style, sharing, homework & praying out) and checking in we turned to the scripture selection for the day, Genesis 1:27-2:3

And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation. (Gen. 2:2-3, English Standard Version)

We sat with this text. We sought to still ourselves and listen to what the Holy Spirit was inviting us to notice…like how God rested, after finishing God’s work. Like how it was God who blessed the day & made it holy. Or even considering perhaps that creation wasn’t finished until God included rest…how how God worked first & then rested (though we don’t really think that God needs the rest) — however humanity was created and began with rest (humanity also always did have work to tend too — the creation that God had already made!). So we went back to the beginning, a beginning that was very good, and noticed that rest came after creation was alive and running — rest came as God seemed to be entrusting said creation to our stewardship of it! And as we could have stayed her MUCH longer the homework time came asking this…..

  • What does the Bible say about Sabbath?
  • What scripture (specific scripture) most shapes your understanding of Sabbath?

The blog might be later than usual, but there’s still time to consider this & come to the table with what God has given you as your answer right now & though life! Looking forward to continuing this conversation y’all.

In Christ ~
Rev. Sabrina Slater