The Sabbath teaches us in time
to find the rhythm of life’s rhyme.
God’s goodness blessed,
a holy sign,
Come, learn to love
the sabbath time.
The words above are part of the last hymn we will sing this Sunday at the 10 am service. They come from a text I composed years ago, when I was preparing to take some time away from parish ministry.
I know they are an invitation for me, as I embark on a sabbath time. I also know that for our wardens, vestry, staff, and clergy leaders, the months ahead may seem like anything but a time of rest.
I so appreciate their willingness to lead all of you over these next three months. I do hope that people will step forward to continue or even initiate new ministries in my absence, if they are so inspired. But I also hope that you hear those words as an invitation to you, and that these next three months can provide opportunities for true sabbath. Some of the rhythms of parish life may be different while I am gone, and such change may be unsettling. Sometimes however, the very changes which are unsettling reveal that deeper rhythm of life which is unchanging – the steadfast love of God. Like the very beating of the heart, it can often go unnoticed, but is essential to life.
I will pray for you as I hope you pray for me during this time. My prayer will not be focused on hoping things “go well” while I am away (for I’m confident they will). Rather, I hope that you and I will hear more clearly God’s very heartbeat, so that the rhythm of our own lives resonates with that pulse of love which is steadfast and sure.