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Sunday, February 10, 2013

Surrendering to Sabbath-choosing rest (a series about growth)


This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: "In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.
Isaiah 30:15 (NIV)

Last Sunday, I experienced a different kind of Sabbath. What I’ve learned about Sabbath practice is that it requires intentionality, and a purity of spirit in making the offering. Despite not being where some of my sisters are, I am making inroads to lead my family by example; convicting myself, creating an environment where we are released and free to embrace rest, experience the Spirit, and be renewed. 

paraphrasing a modern commentary of  Isaiah 30:15,
we should accept God’s advice and chill.
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Last Saturday, I packed in more than I should. In addition to it being my beloved’s birthday which meant dining at our favorite Malaysian restaurant, I attended a liturgical dance workshop that morning that wrung it out of me both physically and spiritually. With a late but lovely dinner that evening, dessert with the in-laws (two cakes) AND the prospect of our son’s jazz concert the following afternoon, my plate was overfull. I was headed for failure. Ann Voskamp writes about missing the value of moments by rushing to fit it all in…
Being in a hurry. Getting to the next thing without fully entering the thing in front of me. I cannot think of a single advantage I've ever gained from being in a hurry. But a thousand broken and missed things, tens of thousands, lie in the wake of all the rushing.... Through all that haste I thought I was making up time. It turns out I was throwing it away.”
― Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are
I wasn’t in the right place to experience Sabbath, too busy flying through it all, trying to squeeze everything possible into the weekend. When I awakened Sunday morning, already weary from the day and sore from the exertion of the workshop, I offered a rather shocking truth to my beloved over morning coffee…I said, “we’re not making it to service today.

The children had not yet stirred, I just didn’t have it in me to rouse everyone and get it done in time, and I was clear that rushing to church out of a sense of obligation rather than a desire to worship in community was exactly the kind of “being in a hurry” that would not honor God. So, and this will sound crazy to some, we spent the morning together at home as on the Sabbath. I told my beloved that I just couldn’t rush. I knew it wouldn’t be my best offering, and I felt certain that I could minister to my family AND rest my temple in a way I hoped God would receive as a sincere offering. So, and  here I am paraphrasing a modern commentary of the scripture, Isaiah is suggesting that we should accept God’s advice and chill.  I didn’t want to get to church only to be able to tick it off some imaginary list of good deeds. I’m not recommended boycotting church just because your schedule is full. I am saying that my Surrendering to Sabbath, my commitment  requires intentionality, and a purity of spirit in making the offering.  I call it “intentional discipline.”  I am making choices, prayerfully, that I believe will overtake my entire life.  For now, in faith, I take baby steps.

Last Sunday, we had a different kind of Sabbath. What remained consistent was the purity of spirit in the offering. I am trying to mean every moment of our Sabbath offerings, creating an environment where we are released and free to embrace rest, experience the Spirit, and be renewed, to God be the Glory.
On Sundays, I fellowship with Jann, Salina, the crew at Spiritual Sundays and Deirdra at the Sunday Community 

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