Song: Welcome into this place (acapela)

Song: A Wing and a Prayer

Call to Community: Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8
Leader: For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
GOD’S GIFT IS TIME, even to rest
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
All: GOD’S GIFT IS TIME, even to rest
3 a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
All: GOD’S GIFT IS TIME, even to rest
4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
All: GOD’S GIFT IS TIME, even to rest
5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
All: GOD’S GIFT IS TIME, even to rest
6 a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
All: GOD’S GIFT IS TIME, even to rest
7 a time to rend, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
All: GOD’S GIFT IS TIME, even to rest
8 a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
All: GOD’S GIFT IS TIME, even to rest
And on the Sabbath, God gave us REST.
Amen.

Song: Freedom

Genesis 2:2-3 (RSV/LBLA)
And on the seventh day God finished the work which God had done, and God rested on the seventh day from all God’s work which God had done. 3 So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all of the work which God had done in creation.

Y en el séptimo día completó Dios la[a] obra que había hecho, y reposó en el día séptimo de toda la[b] obra que había hecho. 3 Y bendijo Dios el séptimo día y lo santificó, porque en él reposó de toda la[c] obra que El[d] había creado y hecho[e].

Offering Song: Medley de Coritos II

Exodus 20: 8-11
“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor, and do all your work; 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your manservant, or your maidservant, or your cattle, or the sojourner who is within your gates; 11 for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and hallowed it.

Acuérdate del día de reposo para santificarlo. 9 Seis días trabajarás y harás toda tu obra, 10 mas el séptimo día es día de reposo para el SEÑOR tu Dios; no harás en él obra alguna, tú, ni tu hijo, ni tu hija, ni tu siervo, ni tu sierva, ni tu ganado, ni el extranjero que está contigo[g]. 11 Porque en seis días hizo el SEÑOR los cielos y la tierra, el mar y todo lo que en ellos hay, y reposó en el séptimo día; por tanto, elSEÑOR bendijo el día de reposo y lo santificó.

Song: Song of the Soul

Sabbath: We All Need Rest…

Happy Sunday church! Happy Sunday!

There is an expression and sentiment that comes up in my Bible, THIS IS THE DAY THAT THE LORD HAS MADE! LET US REJOICE AND BE GLAD IN IT… today is that day, a common day created by God, a special day, live every special day in which we can rejoice and be glad.

According to our Call to Community, “God’s gift is time, even to rest”
Can you imagine? We have the gift of time… not just to accomplish each task that needs doing but EVEN TO REST.

According to Webster, Sabbath is a day of religious observance and abstinence from work, kept by Jews from Friday evening to Saturday evening, and by most Christians on Sundays, these according to our Sacred Text and tradition are our means of continuing to uphold our covenant with God, in keeping the Sabbath holy, as a time of rest and remembrance, for even God, when God completed creation, took time to rest.

In Islam with all the ways in which our sacred texts might differ, there is a sense of importance and weigh-y-ness associated with the period of time after the 6 part Creation period. Where our text says that on the 7th day God rested, the Qur’an says that Allah mounted the throne and rather than resting, Muslims replace the notion of Sabbath rest with jumu’ah.

(32:4, 50:38) (yaum as-Sabt: 2:65, 4:47, 154, 7:163, 16:124)

Jumu’ah is also known as “Friday prayer”, a congregational prayer (salat) held every Friday (the Day of Assembly), just after midday, in place of the otherwise daily dhuhr prayer; it commemorates the creation of Adam on the sixth day, as a loving gathering of Adam’s sons. The Quran states: “When the call is proclaimed to prayer on Friday, hasten earnestly to the Remembrance of Allah, and leave off business: That is best for you if ye but knew” (62:9). The next verse (“When the prayer is ended, then disperse in the land …”)

Buddhists also observe a day of rest, it occurs every 7-8 days in accordance with the phases of the moon…it is for the cleansing of the defiled mind, resulting in inner calm and joy. On this particular day, Buddhist practitioners, be they disciples or monks “intensify their practice, deepen their knowledge, and express communal commitment through acts of reciprocity (exchange).

And in this our United States, the Cherokee also practice a day of rest, atleast according to our friend Google: “The first day of the new moon, beginning at sunrise, is a holiday of quiet reflection and prayer among the Cherokee. Monthly fasting is encouraged, for up to four days. Work, cooking, sex and childbirth were also prohibited during the empty moon days, called “un-time” or “non-days”; childbirth during these days was considered unlucky. The Cherokee new year, the “great new moon” or “Hunting Moon”, is the first new moon in autumn, after the setting of the Pleiades star cluster and around the time of the Leonids meteoric shower.

Sabbath is an important time in many traditions. It is known by many names, and is practiced at different times… but it’s purpose that of reflection, that of prayer, that of contemplation THAT OF REST is shared, though differently.

I recall a commercial from my youth in which more often than not a woman was shown to be overwhelmed by life’s struggles, her feet hurt, her mind tired and suddenly after running her bath, she would reach into her bathroom closet, and in a breathless tone you would hear her exclaim, “CALGON TAKE ME AWAY”, as she slid into the ever deepening bubbles of a bath. (—–PAUSE——-)

But, Sabbath is more than a relaxing bath, though I can attest to the healing that can occur during a time of deep cleansing.

Puritans had a saying that “Good Sabbaths, make good Christians.” Modern day scholars, teachers, professors, professionals in different fields practice an art form called “Sabbatical leave” it is not a deep rest from their profession, but rather a deep rest in their field, a time during which they once more feel their way into their specialties, a time during which they reconnect their attention with their intentions…I intent to do something, so I attend to the needs that need fulfillment in order to get to it…

There are states, like Maryland that have created laws called, Blue Laws, that require that individuals have scheduled days of rest, in order to “promote the secular values of health, safety, recreation and general-well being.”

And the Bible, our Sacred text, offers up the importance of Sabbath over and over again:

Exodus 31: 12-17
12 And the LORD said to Moses, 13 “Say to the people of Israel, ‘You shall keep my sabbaths, for this is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I, the LORD, sanctify you. 14 You shall keep the sabbath, because it is holy for you; every one who profanes it shall be put to death; whoever does any work on it, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.15 Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the LORD; whoever does any work on the sabbath day shall be put to death. 16 Therefore the people of Israel shall keep the sabbath, observing the sabbath throughout their generations, as a perpetual covenant. 17 It is a sign for ever between me and the people of Israel that in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.’”

People have read this and interpreted in many ways, but it reminded me of a movie title, The Seven Year Itch! It is said that the 7th year of any relationship is often the hardest, as by then the new and exciting has become the normal, the boring, the expected, the same-old-same… the movie was talking about marital relations.

But in many ways that is what happens to each of us who works…and we each work, whether at home, at school, in a business, in an office, or at church.

We go about the process of doing and Monday seems so hard because it is usually the first day after a weekend away, we go through the process of remembering and restarting…and by Wednesday we reach a hump in the road, where things seem comfortable and all we have to do is coast for a little longer and then by Friday, we are ready to close our lockers, leave our books behind and run screaming from the building ready for the life we have been forced to keep bottled up…

Because life, is what happens when we are busy living. Because we often forget that we work to live and not live to work. Because God after creating paused and enjoyed Creation. Because I imaging that after God had made each animal and each detail, God sat back and smiled and knew our stories and God in God’s stillness shed tears for the pain we would someday feel. Because I imagine that God being the creator of even time, God saw the beginning the middle and the end and knew we would need to have an example of Sabbath. And so God who had no need of rest, rested.

And we who are human, and frail, and limited…we also must find rest.
Amen and Amen.

Pastoral Benediction
One sabbath he was going through the grainfields; and as they made their way his disciples began to pluck heads of grain. And the Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the sabbath?” And he said to them, “Have you never read what David did, when he was in need and was hungry, he and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God, when Abi′athar was high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those who were with him?” And he said to them, “The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath; so the Son of man is lord even of the sabbath.” Amen. (From Mark 2: 23-28)

Song: Amen, Amen, Amen (acapela)

 

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