I was lamenting earlier this week on the Narrative Lectionary Facebook wall that the only downfall I've experienced while following that schedule of readings is being out of sync with my sisters and brothers over here at the RevGals and Pals. Everyone is gracious, of course, but I miss the community of discernment when I'm on a totally different passage than most everyone else.
Community is important to me which is why I always start to get nervous when discussions of sabbath-keeping come up. (It's come up for me this week since my preaching text is Luke 6:1-16.) It seems too me that many sabbath discussions I have been a part of in recent months or a couple of years seem to focus on solitude, quiet, and individual reflection. I guess I have fallen off the introvert-extrovert fence squarely on the side of extrovert because that description of sabbath sound downright miserable to me. Instead I love this image of a orthodox Jewish sabbath or the image I see in my own community on pleasant Saturdays when the Messianic Jewish congregation breaks between morning and evening worship. Small groups from the congregation break off and take slow, purposeful walks together, talking about Scripture, their lives, and the world around them. They aren't in a hurry to get anywhere. They aren't rushing to the next activity. The sabbath day exists for them to be present, in community, a part of the people of God. I love it.
Sabbath is hard for pastors to observe. That's a sad understatement, but we know it's true. We know that Saturday is RARELY the sabbath for most of us who show up at this party, but I pray as I think about the day that is for saving life that all of us are cultivating the observance of sabbath.
As you are thinking about your sermon and your responsibilities for worship this weekend, if you have a moment or two, think also about how you will observe the sabbath, in some way, this week. Join our party in the comments and, if you can think of one, share one favorite sabbath practice.