Try to remember the kind of September… Labor Day weekend, the traditional end of summer, has arrived.
How can it be September already? One can’t help but notice that the days are growing shorter, the sun is a tad lower on the horizon. This last week of August brought with it an air of late summer, foreshadowing the fall season with hopes of a bountiful harvest, sweet cider and doughnuts, and brilliant displays of foliage.
Yes, as much as it grieves me to write, summer is coming to an end; now we gear up for a new school year and a new church program year. Lest we forge ahead without a plan, let us remember the words of your favorite scripture texts – Exodus 20.8-11 and Deuteronomy 5.12-15. Helpful hint: the fourth of the Ten Commandments. Remember/Observe the Sabbath Day, the unabridged versions. Look them up! You’ve heard me claim that the loss of Sabbath is one of our most common sins. Think, though, not of a grievous offense against our God, but the loss, our great loss of one of God’s greatest gifts to all of humanity, indeed, all of creation. Remember that God rested on the seventh day, and that the incarnate God in Christ often went away by himself, or with the twelve, to properly observe the Sabbath. If Jesus hadn’t kept the Sabbath, I don’t know if he would have had the strength to complete the journey to Jerusalem. The lesson – if the Sabbath is good enough for God, good enough for Christ, then it ought to be good enough for us. So don’t forget it.
For the Sabbath is more than the day to go to church, it is a day of reflection, re-creation, refreshment, renewal, a day of rest. It is a day to be remembered, observed, even celebrated.
My hope and prayer is that as the church learns of all the things that are coming up this fall in this version of the Vision, you will treasure the gift of Sabbath.