Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. - Exodus 20:8-10a, NIV
By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.
- Genesis 2:2-3, NIV
At last Saturday's Zoom Presbytery meeting, our guest speaker, the former Moderator of the PCUSA, reminded us that it has been almost a year since this pandemic started. He also reminded us that we began this time in "sprint mode" -- believing this would all be over pretty soon. Now, almost a year later, he reminded us that this is really a marathon and not a sprint. He also said that no one can keep up a sprinter's pace for very long without facing inevitable consequences.
Last year when the pandemic hit hard in the first week of March, Pam and I were heading down to Florida for the Braves' training camp. We were hoping for a much-needed break. Our vacation was cut short when we had to come home early as everything began to shut down. That was the last vacation I had. The needs of 2020 led me to choose to focus on getting JCPC through this crisis. Creating an Online Weekly Worship Service and then adding an In-Person Drive-In Worship Service restructured much of my time. Financial challenges, staffing concerns and pastoral care needs dominated the rest of my time. So, when I heard the words of our Moderator at our Presbytery meeting, I realized it was probably time to take some Sabbath for renewal in this marathon that we are all experiencing. This week, I am taking off Thursday through Sunday.
The Bible verse above from Exodus reminds us of the commandments (not suggestions) from God, which include the need for a day of Sabbath rest and renewal every week. Genesis also reminds us that even God rested one day in seven after creation, and so should we. This Sunday is Youth Sunday (which I always love and will watch online) -- so the service will be in good hands. I strongly encourage you to plan to attend or watch it online, too!
May God help each one of us to find the Sabbath rest we need -- in order to live life the way God intends it to be lived.