Wednesday, June 27, 2012

July Sabbatical Month

Following the custom we began last year, we are designating July as Sabbatical Month. As much as possible we will shift our congregational energy away from being busy with programs and meetings to experienceing God's gift of rest and renewal through congregational worship, personal prayer and reflection, and the celebration of our life together as the Body of Christ. 

Our culture is addicted to busyness. As one person put it, “We live in a society that is always on. There is no off switch.” When we walk through the church doors, we bring that addiction to busyness into God’s presence. What happens next is anyone’s guess. If worshipping God is just one more activity that we squeeze into our lives when time, energy and desire permit, then nothing really changes in our life. That we would even try “to squeeze” a little God into our life is absurd when you think of it. Is God squeezable? Is there even such a thing as “a little God”? Can God be reduced to an item on our to-do list?
However, if worshipping God is about stepping into God’s sacred presence—a presence where time stops and busyness ceases—then perhaps we might receive God’s gracious invitation “Be still and know that I am God” as a gift more divine than any diversion or entertainment our world offers. Perhaps we might discover in a moment of being still that we can breathe and know the goodness of the abundant life in Christ again. Perhaps in such a moment of divine stillness we might hear God’s voice whisper from within our soul that we are more than a sum of what we got done or didn’t get done this past week.
During Sabbatical Month, we encourage you to worship. Worship in July? Now that’s a radical idea in today’s world! Our themes in worship will flow out of the sabbatical spirit of wholeness, as pictured here in the ELCA’s “Wholeness Wheel.” Pastor Justin and I will share each week a reflection on how our spiritual well-being embraces all aspects of our life. After all, God is more than something we seek to squeeze into our life.

Your servant in Christ,
Pastor Schambach

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