Hello, out there, bloggy friends! I would write all the reasons I've had for not writing, but I'll not bore you.... or myself, either. I do, however, have a newly (mostly finished) remodeled kitchen and library that I believe is quite loverly. That might have contributed. Perhaps.
How is your Sabbath day? Mine is wonderful..... intentionally quiet and slow.... intentionally not working, worrying, or feeling the need to "do" or "accomplish".
Worship was wonderful. Our pastor R.C. preached from Ecclesiastes 5:1-7. Go ahead, click over and read the verses. I'll wait.
R.C. said right here in the middle of the author of Ecclesiates trying out all kinds of things to find meaning in life (besides God, that is), he pauses and tells us four things we should be doing all the time.... especially when we might be in a place of doubt or darkness or just plain angry with God.
- Guard your steps (keep doing the faithful thing.... worship in community) v.1a
- Draw near to listen v.1b
- Pray authentically (real words and keep coming back) v.2-3
- Keep your vow (don't grieve and quench the Messenger) v.4-6
But, then ultimately just "stand in awe of God." (v.7)
Reading these days:
Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis by Lauren Winner
(Love this author. Love her authenticity..... How she makes herself and, therefore, her faith-walk real and believable.)
Keeping the Sabbath Wholly by Marva J. Dawn
(Written in the 80's there some references that have made me chuckle - like her suggestion of not wearing your watch while celebrating the Sabbath. What would she suggest with a smart phone, I wonder? I love her very non-legalistic approach to celebrating the Sabbath and pulling so much from Jewish writers. Divided into sections (Ceasing, Resting, Embracing, and Feasting), the book is designed to be read as a devotional for four weeks.)
And the candle? Well, that comes from Marva.... She lights a pink candle for the Sabbath because pink is the liturgical color for Joy.... and she makes wonderful points on how the Sabbath should be anticipated with great joy. So, last night I lit this pink candle with two pink scallop shells found at Bald Head Island last week to welcome the Sabbath. I will blow it out tonight to say good-bye.
Funny how things you find yourself reading are linked. Marva writes of the Jewish idea of a day beginning with the evening followed by morning and afternoon as opposed to our modern notion of morning beginning the day followed by afternoon and ending with evening. (C- I remember us talking about this a little while ago.) Lauren also writes of this idea.....
"After the lecture a woman comes up to me and says she envies Jewish time, how the days start at sunset: the Sabbath beginning Friday night, holidays always starting the night before. "That is how my spiritual life has always moved," she says, "like a Jewish day, from darkness and then into light."" pg. 150, Still
And Marva quotes from Eugene Peterson saying:
"This Hebrew evening/morning sequence conditions us to the rhythms of grace. We go to sleep, and God begins his work. As we sleep he develops his covenant. We wake and are called out to participate in God's creative action. We respond in faith, in work. But always grace is previous and primary. We wake into a world we didn't make, into a salvation we didn't earn.
Evening: God begins, without our help, his creative day. Morning: God calls us to enjoy and share and develop the work he initiated." pg. 58, Keeping the Sabbath
So, may the rest of your Sabbath day be full of ceasing and resting and embracing and feasting! Off to do some feasting, myself!!