Phil’s (our) sabbatical drew to a close with long days in Maui, where we valued a time of stopping our work to contemplate His.
We returned to the thoughts of Eugene Peterson who writes well on the Sabbath.
“…it’s the evening when God begins, without our help, his creative day and the morning is when God calls us to enjoy and share and develop the work he initiated – to participate. So we sleep to get out of the way for a while and join in the rhythm of salvation. We wake into a world we didn’t make, into a salvation we didn’t earn” He also adds, “the Deuteronomy reason for Sabbath-keeping is that our ancestors in Egypt went four hundred years without a vacation (Deut 5:15). Never a day off. The consequence: they were no longer considered persons but slaves”
…a familiar story?
As I think of the next 7 years of ministry, the goal is to both pray and play well – to enjoy the art of living and lighten up, even scripture is advising me ‘not to take myself seriously, but take God seriously (Micah 6:8 MSG)
Eugene wraps his thoughts with Psalm 92, of gratitude, prayer and the metaphors of music, animals and nature to learn from. Praying and playing share this quality: they develop and mature with age, they don’t go into decline…they are life-enhancing.
We were looking through our gazillions of pics this morning – of Zebras in the Serengeti, Grizzly bears along the highway to Banff, a Rattlesnake poised on my daily walk around the orchards. And from last week as the dawn chorus took on a tropical twist and the ocean was still, the clan took their snorkels down to the salty water and while playing the reef…
Playing and Praying
From Psalm 92. //What a beautiful thing, God, to give thanks, to sing an anthem to you, the High God! To announce your love each daybreak, sing your faithful presence all through the night, Accompanied by dulcimer and harp, the full-bodied music of strings. You made me so happy, God. I saw your work and I shouted for joy. How magnificent your work, God! How profound your thoughts!….My ears are filled with the sounds of promise: Good people will prosper like palm trees, Grow tall like Lebanon cedars; transplanted to God’s courtyard, They’ll grow tall in the presence of God, lithe and green, virile still in old age. Such witnesses to upright God!//
I will announce your faithfulness and love.
Evening and Morning.
Sanctifying my days. Applying His ways.
The sacred rhythms of praying and playing.
Emptying from the clamor of me. Making Him room.
Being. Doing. Repeat.
And in the sabbath sounds I hear a whisper,
‘don’t forget I AM Good News. I AM joy. I AM life.’
The good news is a person: Jesus, who walked on this earth to offer an alternative to a humanity devoid of real hope, who died on a cross in order to redeem humanity, who came “to bring good news to the poor … to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free. Let’s not forget that truth.
With a sabbath softened heart. We continue…
Love, Michelle xo
**There have been a number of reading inspirations in the last few weeks. I have been nervous to finish Pete Greig’s book – Dirty Glory – thoughts on that in 6 months or so…**