Pastor’s Pondering

Pastor’s Pondering about
Stopping long enough for Sabbath


“Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.” The first line of Max Ehrmann’s poem, Desiderata (1929) caught my eye as I passed by the framed document.   It was a High School graduation present that stopped me long enough to find a peaceful place in my busy college life. 

Last month, I gifted my oldest grandson with a framed copy of the Desiderata for his high school graduation with a few comments about its scriptural parallels in the Psalms and Gospels.  Reflecting on the entirety, I can understand why the Rev. Frederick Kates copied it for devotional materials at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Baltimore, Maryland. It is perfect for a Sabbath day or moment. Consider the following excerpt.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive (God) to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.”

Words often stop us. And, sometimes they bring us to a holy place. I believe this is what Sabbath is about. Stopping for more than a moment or even an hour to reflect and connect with the Holy.  In Genesis 2: 1-3, God stopped working and creating on the seventh day. “God blessed the day and made it holy”. (Genesis 2: 1-3)   “Stop!” 

It is a radical act to keep the Sabbath holy. It’s an act of rebellion to go against the world that schedules us every day, drags us from one event to another and insists on filling the air with noise. It is a radical act to stop looking at your phone. It is an act of rebellion to say, “no”, I have one hour or two dedicated to Sunday worship and prayer. Stop long enough in the “noisy confusion of life (to) “keep peace with your soul.”

Blessing of a Summer of Sabbath Days, Pastor Deb

P.S.   I will be with my family over the Fourth of July and Rev. Gerling is willing to preach on Sunday, July 2.