Sunday, August 5, 2018

Sabbath Rest - August 5, 2018

My friends, we continue this Sunday, August 5, with our Sabbath theme, focusing on Rest!

╬  Sabbath Rest!  Imagine what the world would be like if on a given night, everyone, everywhere, got a good night’s sleep.  A rested world would be a happier, more peaceful place; it just would be.  Rest – sabbath – as the Bible talks about it is more than just good sleep.  It is to separate ourselves from the daily routines and habitual paths of life.  It is not defined as sleeping or doing nothing, it is abstaining from the busy-ness and tasking, for a time, to devote ourselves to the One who gives us life and longs for our wholeness and well-being.  The invitation from God is, “Rest in me.”

The Prayer of the Day and Readings are below.

I pray for you all to find these places of intentional rest in the embrace of God.  We can encourage this in one another, and all be the better for it!

Love and peace,

- Pr. Brad Highum

PRAYER OF THE DAY ---------------------
Gracious God we give you thanks for your invitation to sabbath.  Help in the midst of life to find rest for ourselves in you.  Help us to live in balance, centered in your goodness and grace. Amen.

READINGS -----------------------------------
First Reading:  Ecclesiastes 4:1-8
4 Again I saw all the oppressions that are practiced under the sun. Look, the tears of the oppressed — with no one to comfort them! On the side of their oppressors there was power — with no one to comfort them. 2 And I thought the dead, who have already died, more fortunate than the living, who are still alive; 3 but better than both is the one who has not yet been, and has not seen the evil deeds that are done under the sun.  4 Then I saw that all toil and all skill in work come from one person's envy of another. This also is vanity and a chasing after wind.  5 Fools fold their hands and consume their own flesh.  6 Better is a handful with quiet than two handfuls with toil, and a chasing after wind. 

7 Again, I saw vanity under the sun: 8 the case of solitary individuals, without sons or brothers; yet there is no end to all their toil, and their eyes are never satisfied with riches. "For whom am I toiling," they ask, "and depriving myself of pleasure?" This also is vanity and an unhappy business.

Psalm 23
1 The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters;
3 he restores my soul.  He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
4 And though I walk through the valley of death, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff — they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Second Reading:  Philippians 4:4-9
4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5 Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. 6 Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  8 Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.

Gospel:  Mark 6:30-33
30 The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. 31 He said to them, "Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while." For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. 32 And they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves.