shall neither slumber nor sleep; (Ps.121:4)
I’m glad that God does not take time off from being God. We need his “keeping watch over [us].” But, we do need times of holy rest (Sabbath). I pray that you slow down your busy life some this summer. Some folks try to slow their lives down in the summer by skipping community worship. This is spiritually self-defeating. Consider taking part in MORE worship this summer. God is found easier when God is intentionally sought, privately and corporately (i.e. in community). As I keep quoting my seminary prof, “If you want to know God, walk with those who walk with God.”
Even if you are out of town on Sundays, God still shows up at faith communities gathered wherever you are. Go! Debbie and I were on vacation with other family on May 18 in Park City, Utah. A web search quickly revealed that St. Luke’s Episcopal Church was about 3 miles from our hotel with a 10:30 service. Yes, they did things a little different than we do them here at St. Michael’s, but the liturgy was still quite familiar and nurturing. Jesus was clearly there in Word and Bread and Wine. I remembered you, the people of St. Michael’s, in my prayers that day, as I hope you remembered me in yours.
After the service at St. Luke’s there was a nice coffee hour with lots of refreshments. Debbie and I got something to drink, shared a wonderful big chocolate chip cookie, and found that the church was “typical” in that no one greeted us, an obviously visiting couple. Debbie struck up a brief conversation with one person, and we retreated to the parking lot, reminded once again of the importance of all congregational members intentionally seeking out brothers and sisters in Christ who seem to be “outside” the community. This is a ministry for all of us, not just the clergy and greeters.
I hope you get some serious Sabbath time this summer.
32. For the Good Use of Leisure
O God, in the course of this busy life, give us times of refreshment and peace; and grant that we may so use our leisure to rebuild our bodies and renew our minds, that our spirits may be opened to the goodness of your creation; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (BCP p. 825)