Dear Saints

Writing

“Observe the sabbath day and keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work. But the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God.” -Deuteronomy 5:12-14

Dear Saints, although school is still in session until June 10th (!), summertime is upon us. We can feel it in the heat and humidity, we can hear it in the sounds of children splashing in the water, and we can tell by the way our activities and plans change gears. The summer heat almost demands a change of pace. It beckons us to spend more time enjoying the songbirds in the morning, more time set aside for family and fun, and more time for rest.

Throughout the scriptures, God calls his people to rest. He tells us that other peoples may toil without ceasing, but that we walk by a different rhythm. Just as God rested from his labors on the seventh day of creation, God’s people are to set aside a sabbath day to pause from our work, to worship God and to rest. “Sabbath” can be a difficult concept for we Americans to embrace; we experience such pressure to produce, provide and contribute. However embracing Sabbath means recognizing that at the source of it all it is God who provides.

October will mark seven years since Pastor Kris and I arrived at All Saints. Our time with you so far has been full of joy, meaning, growth, and fruitful ministry. But now, during this summer sabbatical (read: “sabbath”), we are embracing God’s call to rest. Although sabbatical is not “vacation,” one primary purpose of the time away from the parish is restorative rest. Another primary purpose is to allow the pastor time to return to the source of it all, the God who provides. Time to be nurtured and fed by spiritual renewal and study is a vital part of a healthy rhythm of pastoral ministry.

This summer, we will miss you and think of you often! We pray that as we embrace the call to sabbath, that you and your family will be able to do the same. Schedule time for renewal. Don’t neglect the call to worship. Remember Christ’s words about trusting God:

Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. 3But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? …But strive first for the kingdom of God and its righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own.

Do not worry. Trust and pray. Remember to rest. We will try to do the same. As the old hymn says: “God be with you till we meet again!”

+ Pastor Ginger +

 
 

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