The word “Sabbath” is an interesting Biblical word that we probably should take more note of. One of the 10 Commandments tells us to remember the Sabbath and keep it holy by not working (Exodus 20:8). The word Sabbath was first used a few chapters earlier (Exodus 16) when the Israelite were going out to collect Manna (bread from heaven) every day, God encouraged them to on the 6th day collect twice as much so that on the seventh day they can rest and spend time with their family and community. In Exodus 23, God tells the farmers to leave their fields fallow on the seventh year to allow the land to recover and renew. God is suggesting that things work better when we stop every now and again and take time to renew our minds and body and be with our loved ones.
2018 has been a busy year so far at Turramurra Uniting. It started passionately with me sharing with the church about my passions and we got to know each other in our daily online questions. February and March was Vision Sunday and straight into “Walking the Way with Jesus”. April was Easter and our Mission Priority Planning Days. During May, we presented our five Mission Priorities and established five teams to bring them to life. We started June with soccer and slushies, a Turratot adventure and our combined service. If you are like me, it seems that we are all feeling a bit weary and ready for a break.
Church Council when it met in June reflected on the Sabbath passages and decided that it was good wisdom and has declared the seventh month of 2018 as a TUC “Sabbath” month! Outside of worship (which of course we will be running in July), we are encouraging all committees, meetings, groups and activities to consider not having their normal July gatherings—postpone them for a month. And with the extra time we encourage you to rest, read a good book, spend some time with the family, go for a walk or to a movie, enjoy a long meal with others – embrace this idea of Sabbath and stop working and just “be”. This is not a directive and each group or committee can decide to do what is best for them … if there is business that cannot be delayed, then meet. But you might also consider being creative. Meet through a series of emails rather than face-to-face. Meet at a restaurant and spend 10 minutes on the business at hand and 90 minutes enjoying a good meal together. Rather than a normal bible study evening, plan to go into the city or the mountains and spend the day exploring together.
I have a feeling that God has got a lot planned for us in the second half of this year. So let’s take July as a month to reconnect with God and each other. Take some time to rest and rejuvenate – I am planning to!