The Sabbath is about being fully present

Rev Jeremy Smith

This month of July, the worship services are focusing on Sabbath and finding the ways to find peace and tranquil…*RING RING*…sorry, my cell phone went off while I was trying to find…what was that again? Oh well, better get back to work or something.

The Sabbath is time off, a break, originally the seventh day of the week on which there was to be no non-essential work done so that people could rest and give thanks to God.

I want to point to a clip below of comedian Tig Notaro recently on Conan’s talkshow. While the first joke is gallows humor, the rest of the shtick has Tig saying that her recent bout with cancer caused her to be fully present with people…the joke being that she then makes a phone call and plays with her phone while doing the interview. Check out the dry humor and the message she is trying to convey (click here if the video doesn’t come up)

I think a lot of us are like Tig. Even though we may have big experiences that change our outlook or what we want from our lives, we are slowly drawn back into the life of fuzzy focus and easy distractions. When we have those mountaintop experiences and connections with God, if we don’t maintain that connection then we become drawn back to the madness. Even worship likely isn’t enough to maintain that connection for those that don’t attend weekly.

One of the Psalms – the first Psalm, actually – begins with an image of connection:

Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path that sinners tread, or sit in the seat of scoffers; but their delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law they meditate day and night. They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither. In all that they do, they prosper. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. (Psalm 1:1-4, NRSV)

In other words, what separates the good life and the bad life isn’t our fruit, our branches, our structure, but our roots: are we connected deep into the earth into the waters? Or are we drawn into ourselves and are easily blown by the wind?

This month, I hope you take advantage of this sermon series that shows how Sabbath, time off, a break from the busy-ness of business, can help keep us connected to God and one another, resisting distractions along the way.



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