Sabbath Practices: Stopping to Ground Ourselves in God's Presence

Sabbath offers us two opportunities.

With Sabbath we assume a posture of trust. By our inactivity we declare we trust God to provide for us. So we rest in His providence and goodness. We stop taking care of ourselves (or others) long enough to rest in His care. If God is good and in control ... we can stop and rest. If God can take any need,  any mess, any mishap, any wasted effort, any wreckage, and choreograph beauty and meaning from it … I can take a day off to affirm my confidence in Him. Sabbath is people of faith quietly expressing our trust in God. 

With Sabbath we ground ourselves for storms we cannot anticipate. Storms blow into our lives suddenly with little advanced warning to prepare. Sabbath gets us ready for those times we can’t anticipate or predict ... when life as we know it may change. Sabbath nurtures something deep in us that only emerges on the day we're tested. Sabbath is people of faith quietly preparing for whatever life brings us by grounding ourselves in the character of God.

Suggested Sabbath Practice for this week... 

Spend some time reflecting upon something in your life right now that is unsettling to you. Read Psalm 62:1-8. Then use the words of the Psalm to express your trust in God. Say them out loud. Write your prayer in a journal.

"Father I will wait quietly before you. for my victory comes from you. You alone are my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken (vv.1-2).

Let all that I am wait quietly before you. for my hope is in you. You alone are my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken. My victory and my honor come from you alone. You are my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me (vv.5-7).

Now sit and simply be silent for awhile. Allow the words you've just spoken to settle deep into your soul. Invite the peace of God's presence with you to surround you. 

 

Here's a Sabbath prayer that gives language to our shared journey in learning to trust God -

Our first glimpse of reality this day - everyday - is your fidelity.

We are dazzled by the ways you remain constant among us,

        In season, our of season,

        for better, for worse,

        in sickness amd in health.

You are there in watchfulness as we fall asleep;

You are there in alertness when we awake ... and we are glad.

        Before the day ends, we will have occasion

                to flag your absence in indifference ...

                but not now, not at the dawn.

        Before the day ends, we will think more than once

                that we need a better deal from you ...

                but not now, not at the dawn.

        Before the day ends, we will look away from you and

                relish our own fidelity and our virtue in mercy ...

                but not now, not at the dawn.

Now, at the dawn, our eyes are fixed on you in gladness.

        We ask only

                that your faithfulness permeate every troubled place we are able to name,

                that your mercy move against the hurts to make new,

                that your steadfastness hold firmly what is too fragile on its own.

And we begin the day in joy, in hope, and in deep gladness.     Amen

"At The Dawn" from Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth Prayers of Walter Brueggemann

 

Fighting for your heart,

Gary