15 May, 2007

Sabbath 23: Be Still and Know

Sabbath 23: Megan's post, Tripp's post

I think Wayne's chapter is summed up in this quote: "Through meditation, prayer, and stillness, we refine our vision, we sharpen our hearing." He does on to apply this principle in the realm of social-service concerns, where his organization Bread For the Journey does its work.

Megan has a good summary of the chapter this week.

I did something scary this week. I preached about Sabbath. The text was one of the Jesus-heals-on-the-Sabbath stories, where "the Jews" (in this case, meaning not Jesus and his disciples, but those who did not follow Jesus) criticize him for healing (i.e., working) on the Sabbath. I tried to use the misunderstanding in the text to gently point out that we tend to misunderstand Sabbath just as much as those characters in the gospel stories who criticized Jesus--it's just that we miss the point of the Sabbath by working too hard.

The first scary part is that I know--know--that my congregation is as crazy-busy-overworked as anyone else. And as a preacher, you have to be very, very careful about things that might sound critical. (I'm sure somebody on Sunday heard me say that they were bad and sinful people for not properly observing the Sabbath, even though I didn't say anything of the kind.)

The second, and bigger, scary part, is that I asked the congregation to do something--one of Wayne's Sabbath exercises, specifically. Go for a walk. Stroll. Be. Recognize that you have great value and worth even when you're not producing.

My prayer this week is that three hundred people are out there taking an evening stroll, and being aware of God's presence while doing that.


meeegan said...

Good for you for doing the scary thing!

Did you get any sermon feedback from congregants right after the service?

Cristopher said...

Not really. I heard that one couple were going to do their 'stroll' at Enchanted Rock later that day--which is more of a nature hike than what I suggested, so that probably means they already had the outing planned.

What I'm more interested in is the after-sabbath-stroll reflections... which I'd love to hear about, but I'm also guessing very few of the congregation will share with me. We'll see what comes of that.

Mardi said...

I think that it's easier to stroll without my husband - he wants to move out on his stroll and I want to meander. It was a good sermon