I found such beauty in these words found in today’s church’s bulletin that I had to write them, share them, reflect on them so I can come back to them again and again.
Many of us know what it means to lose a sense of that essential rhythm between creation and recreation, to discover that place of sanctuary we call respite is just out of reach. We know from experience that when there is no space for rest our work suffers, our sense of balance is disturbed and we grow anxious. Weariness overcomes us and we begin to doubt our intrinsic value. For our own sake and the sake of our children, we must learn to cherish that breaking space we call Sabbath – to become mindful of the restorative blessings that accompany rest. We must find ways to pass on the wisdom that we all need rest, time to breathe, time to give thanks, and teach that to our children lest they grow anxious.
We are not the first to let the blessing of the Sabbath slip through our fingers in a desire to do more; nor are we the first to feel that there are not enough hours in a day or days in a week. We will not be the last to ask for relief from work that drains and disheartens us. The great Jewish scholar, Abraham Heschel, reminds us that in those difficult times God offers us the gift of the Sabbath as a sign of love – a time to lay our burdens down and appreciate what God is creating in each of us. Rabbi Heschel urges us to make the Sabbath a time of delight and rejoicing, a time to remember God’s goodness and enter into the fullness of God’s presence and help our children to do the same. He counsels us to adopt or reclaim such Sabbath practices as:
- a regular weekly rhythm of rest
- time for reconnecting with the sacred
- festive meals with loved ones
- the nurturing of community life
- study of holy wisdom and sacred text
- attention to beauty, and
- honoring intimacy
The decision to put God first in our lives is never easy. It requires we rearrange our priorities. Perhaps that is another blessing of the Sabbath – a weekly opportunity to put things in perspective.
Pictures are from today’s Sabbath which included Kid Church, a twice-a-month worship experience that our Catholic parish offers designed to meet the needs of families with young children (ages 0-4). It includes lots of singing, clapping, and participation, which they love. It also includes a craft or outdoor play time after worship. Highly recommended!