Sabbath Devotional – Week One

Dear friends,

As promised, during the month of February we are taking a church-wide Sabbath month. Most of you know, this means NO MEETINGS! I am hoping you will utilize this time for some much needed rest and re-centering as we slow down and listen for God’s voice in our very busy lives, church, and world.

Each week I have asked Sue to send out the weekly devotional and you are invited to use it to guide your thoughts for the week, or perhaps during a time when you might normally be in one of our church meetings.

You will see that the format is centered around 4 words: Imagine, Discover, Wonder, & Connect. These words are intentional. So many of our days are centered around words like “doing,” “achievement,” “certainty,” and “busy.” We know that the world won’t stop turning, even if we stop for awhile — but most of us act like it will. This is not the life God created for us. We were created to do four things: to imagine what is possible with God, to discover God’s love poured out for us, to wonder at the mystery and beauty of God’s created world, and to connect with those who inhabit that world with us.

I hope you will take February as a time to re-discover God’s immeasurable love for you and wonder about how God might calling you to continue sharing that love with our community.

Have a blessed Sabbath rest,
Pastor Kate

IMAGINE

Did you know that during a storm at sea, the water ten feet below the highest wave is perfectly still? This is an image that I use which helps me come to prayer.

Like most people, I live out my life on the surface. A typical day is occupied by waves – some small and some terrifyingly big. Even so, this stillness is just ten feet down. That is not an impossible depth to reach, though some days it may feel like it.

In almost every tradition that incorporates prayer, there is an element of stillness, or quieting oneself. The purpose of it is to bring us into the deeper currents of our hearts. It’s here that we notice what we are really feeling, what moves us at the core of our being, and where our feelings and movements come from. It is in these currents where God speaks to us, revealing our truest desires and fears, and offers healing grace. Prayer is an act of surrender. It asks us to let go of our own agenda and listen for God within.

DISCOVER
Take a few moments and find a sacred space. This can be a physical space, like in a quiet room set aside for prayer, or out in nature. You could sit or take a walk. Your sacred space can also be a memory that you sit and recall – a time and place when you felt deeply happy and at peace. Wherever it is, it should feel natural – not like a chore.

Take a few deep breaths in and out.

Take a few moments to notice what is going on in your mind. Make space for the thoughts, and then set them aside. Don’t try to brush them away all at once.

What is happening around you? What do you hear? What do you feel or smell or see?
Take it in before returning to your breath. Quiet your mind and allow yourself to become still. Don’t rush.

When you are ready, you may meditate on any of these passages:

“Prayer is the means by which I open myself up to that which is not me.” – Alan Jones, Soul Making

“Prayer invites us to become aware of the living interaction between the transcendent God, who will always remain beyond all we can think or imagine, and the immanent God, who abides deep in our own hearts… as we become aware of this sacred encounter, we become, ourselves, a place where God’s dream is becoming incarnate in our own personal human life.” – Margaret Silf, Close to the Heart

“Be still and know that I am God.” – Psalm 46:10

WONDER
1. Do any of these passages grab me? Why or why not?
2. How have I thought about prayer in the past?
3. What do these passages reveal to me about prayer?
4. Is it hard for me to be still right now? Why or why not?

CONNECT
God gives us prayer to connect with us. It isn’t something we do. It’s something we receive from a God who delights in us.

Create space in your day to connect with yourself in an activity you enjoy. Make it prayerful by letting God remind you that you are loved. You are enough. (ie: Get a massage, take a nap, exercise, read a good book, be with a friend, go for a walk, enjoy a hobby, etc.)

See other devotionals in this series:

Week 2 | Week 3 

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