I want to commend all the people who helped make this year’s Vacation Bible School a huge success. All the adults and young people who gave their evenings to lead the programs, do recreation, lead singing, and serve food and refreshments to the kids went above and beyond the call of duty. By the time you read this you may have been entertained by the children singing songs they learned in VBS during Sunday morning worship. Special thanks go to Juliet Nolde, Gidget Hurlbert and Mary Jane Rogers for putting it all together.
It is now August. School is resuming, vacations are limited now to weekend trips and the like. It is not any cooler, in fact it may be hotter (writing this in July I hope it is not overly prophetic). The pace begins to quicken again. In the face of this resumption of school, work, ballgames, practices, etc, etc, let us remember to stop and seek renewal on a regular basis.
For most people who read Genesis 1, they think of God’s creation of everything, but the focus of the creation is the creation of the Sabbath, a day to celebrate what God created and to be re-created through a day of rest and fun. Sabbath is not to be a time of somberness and isolation. It is a time to gather together in thanksgiving celebrations. It is a time to look around at all that God made and agree with the Creator that it is indeed Very Good!
The Jewish faith teaches that work is not to be done on the Sabbath, and we often assume that to mean that everyone sits around and does nothing. Rather, Sabbath is a time of coming together as family and worshiping, eating, and rejoicing together. What a concept. Taking the time to spend with the people you love in a celebrative manner without making a huge production out of it requires someone to spend most of their time working to put it all together and cleaning up afterward. Come together to pray and play, to worship and fellowship, to rest and restore ourselves and our families.
This is very hard, especially in a society that demands so much of our time. We must intentionally decide to make it happen. We must choose to let some things slide so that we might be healthier mental, physically and spiritually. Maybe a day is too much to ask for in the beginning; do not worry, start slowly. Take a couple of hours to try it out. Bring the family together and find a simple activity to fill the time with fun and relaxation. Begin and end with giving thanks to God for a time of rest and re-creation. Make it a regular event each week, and as it becomes more of a family custom then gradually lengthen the time until you achieve a Sabbath day.
Also try it out as an individual. Everyone needs some one on one time with God. Take an hour that it will be just you and God. Step away from the electronics, put down the I-pods, turn off the cell phones and just spend time with God in quiet, peaceful communion. You might be surprised after a few weeks at how quickly an hour passes. You will also be amazed at how relaxed and ready you will be for whatever else you have to do during that day and even through the week. After all, Jesus made his Disciples take time to sit and be with God.