Jul 27, 2012

Too Much (to do)

I had a pastor friend, who for effect, once stood before his congregation at Sunday morning worship and said, “Friends, I want to apologize to you this morning. I have no sermon. I hope you will forgive me, but as all of you are aware this week has just had too many emergencies in it for me to sit down and work on my sermon. We have had two funerals and two emergencies surgeries this week and on top of that we also had Vacation Bible School. In addition, people called me into several emergency counseling situations. I hope you will understand.”

Then he sat down. The organist froze, as did the rest of the congregation. No one had ever seen anything like this at First Church. No one moved—they didn’t know what to do.

Then, after about 60 exceedingly painful seconds, my friend got back into the pulpit and said, “This is what God must feel like when we tell God we are just too busy to attend to the world God has created.” My friend went on to preach a superb sermon on how God may not need us, but how God wants us to be covenant partners with God in working out our salvation. My friend went on to express how we witness to our faith by the way we live, love, and work in God's world. His sermon turned out to be very powerful indeed. He also shared how the Sabbath and rest on the Sabbath figure into the life that produces fruit. Perhaps you remember what Jesus said: “. . . the tree is known by its fruit” (Matthew 12:33).

We all know what it is like to have too much to do and have seemingly too little time in which to do it. It is often easy for us to let the most significant parts of life slip by the wayside and our fervent hope is that we can attend to these significant moments and events tomorrow or perhaps, the day after. We might also suppose that even Jesus faced problems of time-management. Could it be for this reason that Exodus tells us:
“Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the Lord; whoever does any work on the sabbath day shall be put to death” (31:15).

Rest it seems used to be serious business. Perhaps we should all go take a nap!

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