How is your sabbath rest lately? We hear a lot about the importance of rest. We need rest for our brains, for our mood, and for our health. Rest is important but sabbath rest is also important. Sabbath rest is different from simply catching up on sleep in that taking time for sabbath reconnects us with God, creation, and ourselves. These days I find that, while I have more time to kill and have less on my schedule, I’m not necessarily taking more time for sabbath rest. Using our creation stories in Genesis as a guide, I’ve been more intentional about making time for sabbath rest. In our creation stories we see God creating, being productive, doing.  But included in God’s work of creating is rest – not to catch up on sleep but to just be. What does sabbath rest look like to you? What refreshes your spirit and lets you just dwell in God’s presence? What restores your soul? What helps you stop doing and enter into just being? As you consider your own sabbath rest and what it looks like for you, I offer you this prayer. 

Gracious God, you created, and are creating, and will continue to create. And you rested and will rest again. Rest, it seems, is part of the cycle. What do you do for rest, God? Do you marvel at the colors or listen to birdsong on repeat? Do you let the sun wake you when it chooses, or laugh with the wind, or taste what has ripened in the branches of the trees, or absorb the glow of the moon? Do you look back and remember, with joy or grief, or write down all the things that expand your heart? Do you breathe in compassion, and exhale out love? Do you meditate on our potential or sew up broken hearts with brightly colored thread? 

Teach us to rest, O God, because rest comes from you. 
Teach us to rest, O God, to renew and recreate our hearts in love. 
Teach us to rest, O God, to take time and space to really be, just be. 
Teach us to rest, O God, in you. 

In Peace, Pastor Ruth

Community Prayer:
Gracious God, you created us all in your image. Grant us grace to contend fearlessly against evil, and grant us grace to magnify your love for all creation. Through us give hope to the hopeless, love to the unloved, peace to the troubled, and rest to the weary. We come to you trusting in your mercy through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Friend. Amen.