Summertime and Soaking Up the Sabbath

By Deacon Timothy Siburg, Director for Mission, Innovation and Stewardship

For most of us, Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer. Whether the weather cooperates or not, that’s a different question. But what is true about this time of the year is that it is an opportunity to take a step back, enjoy some time away, and to catch one’s breath. This goes for everyone.

It’s been a busy year. Perhaps you’re a student, and it feels like you have been going 100mph for months, and this is your first time to stop and just be. Perhaps you’re a parent or grandparent, and you’re just coming to terms with your child or grandchild graduating or completing one grade and moving on to the next and what that all might mean for you and your household. Perhaps you’re a teacher, who has been doing amazing things, but especially since the start of the pandemic, adjusting and innovating on the fly without much time to reflect and relax. Perhaps you’re a farmer, who has just finished planting, and looking forward to a few days or weeks of a little downtime before the next big stage of the agricultural cycle hits. Perhaps you are a leader in your congregation, who has felt like things have been busy, busy, busy, and the summer might offer a chance to slow down.

Whatever the case may be, now’s the time. We may all struggle at times to take sabbath time during the course of the year and our lives, but the summer is perhaps the most ready-made chance we get. The days are longer. The calendars a little less full. The weather is usually nicer and warmer. It’s a chance to go and do things we might not do other times of the year. Take the time.

What did God do on the seventh day? God saw that it was good, and rested. Whatever is restful for you, I invite you to lean into that. Take some summer sabbath. If you’re out on vacation, visit another congregation. Maybe you might just hear God’s voice in a new way, or sense a new idea that you might bring back to your own faith life and congregation when you return home. If on the road, take some time to breathe and maybe try out some new night time devotions. Hit the pause button and allow yourself time to read a book, watch a ballgame, or play a game with friends. Enjoy the twilight and warm nights by sitting around a campfire, or if you’re so lucky, take a boat out for a sunset spin and witness the beauty of God’s creation.

We all need this time. We need it to be healthy, whole; and our full and grounded, hopeful and grateful selves. It’s a stewardship and faith matter. God’s calling you to breathe deeply. Listen and be, and join me and all your siblings in Christ this summertime in soaking up the sabbath.