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March 30, 2020

“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

It’s hard work doing nothing.

Truth be told, most of us aren’t doing nothing. My ministry – while greatly changed during these pandemic days – is still a full-time vocation (for which I am grateful). The work of maintaining a household continues, too. Still, this time of quarantine limits our activities, yet I find myself strangely exhausted by the whole thing.

Perhaps this is because anxiety and grief consume energy.

Because of this, yesterday was a gift.

My Sunday pattern is greatly different than it was a few weeks ago. Instead of spending time with the gathered Body of Christ in two worship services, with bustling activities in between and after, I have one service to help lead. Sunday school resources are recorded ahead of time. I go, I worship, and I come back home.

Make no mistake, I want this time to end as soon as safely possible. I yearn so deeply to see Grace’s sanctuary be exactly that –  a place that provides safety and welcome for many.

Still, in the spirit of finding joy in the meantime, the day that is usually the busiest for me is currently a day of actual rest. Yesterday’s service, centered in texts of resurrection and reconnection, was restorative. The music was magnificent. Hey, the sermon was pretty good too, if I say so myself!

And then I came home. I can’t recall what I did for the next few hours. Holy nothingness with people I loved. After lunch we Zoomed with family, watched a movie (Spies in Disguise, which was solid), Zoomed with our Grace FEAST group, put the kids to bed, read Dostoevsky for a while, and watched a couple episodes of The Man in the High Castle. I confess that we find dystopian television shows comforting right now because, hey, we might be living through a pandemic but at least the Nazis didn’t win the war, right?

And somewhere in the middle, we made lefse, a traditional Norwegian flatbread. We usually make it closer to Christmas, and often with family. Yesterday it simply seemed like the right thing to do, adapting traditions that help us feel close to loved ones while we are apart. I eat mine with a hint of butter and more than a hint of brown sugar, by the way.

It was the right way to fill up a day with nothing to do, a tangible experience of the rest and renewal given by our God. I pray that yesterday was meaningful Sabbath for you and that, if it wasn’t, maybe today will be.

Be well, friends. You are loved.

God of peace, thank you for giving us green pastures in which to lie down. Help us to take Jesus at his word, that in him are rest and renewal for our bodies and spirits. Rested, help us to share your love today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

From → COVID-19

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