Friday, May 15, 2020

A whole day

Daily Devotion - May 15

I will send a brief message each day (except Mondays)
while we are pausing gathering in person.
- Kara

I love that the Jewish understanding of a day is that it begins at night. ("There was evening, there was morning, the first day...")  When the sun hits the horizon, a day has ended, and the next begins. That means all our doing, all our work, comes first from rest. 
Rest is where we start-  resting with our Creator, remembering God is God and we are not. Sleeping - reviving our cells, renewing our minds, rebuilding our muscle tissue, restoring our souls. 
Then, when we wake, our productivity and creativity begin.

This is such a strange time, where the lines between work and rest are extra blurred - as if they weren't already mixed up enough.  

What if you set aside a whole day to rest?  To play, to lose yourself in the garden, or a book, or a nap, or a phone call?  To lose track of time?  Not listen to the clamoring voices of the world but to listen to the soft sounds of your own soul?  Not to worry about what needs to be done, but to give yourself a break? To receive the gifts right here in front of you?  

What if you started tonight? 
Then you let yourself sleep and awaken to a whole day of freedom?  
Or tomorrow night - and let worship in the morning, and the rest of the day Sunday, be a sabbath time for you?

Here is a Sabbath prayer shared by Barbara Brown Taylor in her book, An Altar in the World

Sabbath Prayer
Our noisy day has now descended
with the sun beyond our sight.
In the silence of our praying place
we close the door upon the hectic joys and fears,
the accomplishments and anguish
of the wek we have left behind.
What was but moments ago the substance of our life
has become memory;
what we did must now be woven into what we are.
On this day
we shall not do but be.

We are to walk the path of our humanity,
no longer ride unseeing
through a world we do not touch
and only vaguely sense.
No longer can we tear the world apart to make our fire. 
On this day
heat and warmth and light
must come from deep within ourselves.

(For more, see this article for Sabbath Lessons in a Quarantined Time)


Perhaps tonight at bedtime, whenever that is in each of our homes, we might pray in this way and so join our hearts.

God rest me. Deep within.
Teach me to breathe again.

I am alive.

I am grateful.

I am tired.

I am free.
God rest me. Deep within.
Return me to your rest.

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