But along with the invitation to practice hospitality, I hope you will accept the INVITATION TO PRACTICE SABBATH.
You see, every August we take time for rest, relationships and rejuvenation. And we practice Sabbath as a community. Which may or may not conjure up restrictive traditions of forced quiet, prayer and religious activities. However, this is not the kind of Sabbath I am talking about nor the kind of Sabbath that I believe God has commanded. [And by the way it is a command.]
Sabbath in its ancient tradition was meant to be a day of delight for both body and soul. A beautiful gift of rest and rejuvenation. A day when we cease from our own work to receive the bountiful gift of God’s work. A day when we celebrate God’s re-creative, redemptive love that Dan Allender refers to in his book Sabbath using the categories of sensual glory and beauty, ritual, communal feasting, and playfulness. Yes, you heard it right. Rest. Rejuvenation. Beauty. Feasting. Community. Play. Delight. This is what is required. [Okay. Sign me up!] This is the gift of Sabbath to be practiced in our everyday lives where we actually make space to attend to the things that bring goodness, glory, and delight. And where we carve out time to experience heaven here on earth. To celebrate God’s goodness in our lives. To enjoy for just a few moments God’s shalom. To slow down long enough to be fully present. To God. To ourselves. To our desires and our longings. And to the people we love.
So you are INVITED this month to practice Sabbath delight and radical hospitality which are just two sides of the very same coin. One is to enter and receive the confounding abundance and extravagance of the kingdom. And the other is to invite others to experience it too. So what is your heart longing for? What gives you life? What feeds your soul? What beauty stirs you? What hike, concert, outing, feast, hot tub, or fire pit do you need to experience to fill your heart with pure delight? For you are INVITED to participate in something compelling, beautiful, and life-giving—in other words, to experience heaven here on earth and to taste of the coming kingdom.
by Jessica Ketola