A couple months ago, a group of us gathered at Bay Lake Camp for a 24-hour retreat. We opened the retreat with a short Beginning Liturgy. I told the group that they were doing something highly unusual and counter-cultural. They were stopping. Resting. Taking a 24-hour sabbath from their normal life. They set down their heavy backpacks full of work, family, grad school and responsibilities. They played. And sang and ate and created and napped by the fire. Some hiked around the island. Some lingered over conversation. I also told them that there were many others who wanted to come on this retreat, but could not. So, we retreated on behalf of everyone else. We rest--and hold open that possibility--for those who cannot.
It is not news that we live in a time that glorifies busyness. I'm not actually interested in judging that cultural norm--my life is steeped in it as well. I am interested in offering moments of rest. A pause. A reboot. A great big deep breath.
The Advent planning team came up with a beautiful way to embody moments of sabbath. Two-minute sand timers. We have a big bucket of them in worship. During the prayers of the people, we invite everyone to pause for two minutes. Then everyone gets to take one home to continue the practice throughout the week.
It's a feisty, subversive move any month of the year--but particularly bold in December.
Pause with us-take some deep breaths-and pray for all those people around you.