Letting Creation Unfold

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by Jody Slaughter

“Thus the heavens and earth were finished, and all their multitude.  And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done and rested.”  (Genesis 2:1-2) God observed, saluted, and sat back, letting the movement of the creation unfold.

Sabbath is the practice of remembering it is God who was the first to protect, border and salute creation. And like God we can do the same. On the seventh day God embraced silence and rest, reminding us that for relationships to flourish we must learn how to be together in silence and independent in rest. (http://gatheringinlight.com/2015/10/06/on-solitude-and-sabbath/)

Matthew 14:23 says, “After he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone.”  Jesus lived into the rhythm of Sabbath because he practiced the spiritual discipline of solitude.  He invited people to rest in the middle of their busyness and pray. One translation of the biblical phrase “to pray” can be translated as “to come to rest”. Jesus took time out to rest and in doing so he was nourished by the Spirit in the quiet places. He allowed his heart and his mind to rest.

When meeting with a spiritual director years ago I described feelings of being overwhelmed and spiritually tired. She patiently listened and asked me caring questions before she so wisely said, “You’ve lost your Sabbath.” Her statement was like a healing salve to a wound within me. We then began to discuss ways to recover a better rhythm of work and rest – Sabbath. It is a time that takes some planning and preparation as one sets aside all work and worry so that there is physical rest, replenishing of the spirit, and restoration of the soul.

Here are just a few ideas for Sabbath from the book “Sacred Rhythms: “Take time to sit on your couch or your own deck or porch because it is yours, a gift from God that often gets overlooked in the rush of things; allow time for an afternoon nap, taking a leisurely walk or bike ride; preparing favorite foods to share with people you love; read a book for pleasure; light candles and read Scripture and thank God from the bottom of your heart.”

Prince of Peace staff will be taking a week of Sabbath June 30-July 6. There will be a pastor “on call” during that time and weekend worship will continue as scheduled. Pray for the staff as they enter a time of Sabbath. We pray that you have times of Sabbath set aside as well. Let us pray that God will help us honor the Sabbath times in our lives and keep them holy, so that we are more in touch with ourselves, others, and God.

Jody Slaughter is the Spiritual Care Minister at Prince of Peace.

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