Saturday, March 25, 2023

Receiving Sabbath | Your Kairos Invitation into Rest w/ Jesus

The Bible Project | Holy, Healing, Whole-making Rest in Jesus

My Presence Will Go with You
and I Will Give You Rest.
+ Exodus 33:14

How might you be offered holy whole-making rest from God today? 

In making time to spend in the Scriptures and listening to the Spirit of God, two things have risen to the surface on repeat in the past couple years:

Get some rest.

Get to work.

My default when I think about my life is often the phrase, "What do I need to be doing more or better ... ?" So I think "Get some rest" is a generous reminder from God that I need to continue to learn how to listen to and obey. For me, it can be easy to bypass that first invitation and just go with "Get to work" again. I need God to guide me into a rest of His making rather than my own. 

I love how A.J. Swoboda addresses some of this surrender to the rest only God can give in "Chapter 8 | A Wanderer's Rest" of his book, The Dusty Ones:

As Americans, we see rest as largely environmental and emotional. We see rest as something that's fundamentally self-created, self-initiated, and self-made. The Bible takes no such individualistic perspective on the topic of rest. Nor is rest something that comes with getting our lives in order necessarily. Rest, as we come to find in the story of Moses in the desert, is something God finds on our behalf. "The Lord went before them ... to find them a place to rest" (Numbers 10:33). What kind of God does this? What kind of God has time, let alone a passion, for finding rest? ... While other gods may demand seven days of work with no rest whatsoever, this God is different. The gods of contemporary society rebel against this kind of Sabbath insistence. Get to work, they say, never rest. Or you'll get the pink slip. ... The first thing in the Bible that God makes holy is a day, the Sabbath day. And when Sabbath isn't honored, all of God's creation begins to break down. In the same way that God invented the sun for our plants to make chlorophyll, God invented rest that we might live and enjoy living. + pgs. 134-135

In my own story right now, balancing being a man, a husband, a father of four, along with being a neighbor, a citizen of Worcester, a priest among Jesus' Kingdom of priests, and a chaplain, is a steadfast service and surrender as my marriage, parenting, neighboring, ministry, and work all overlap within the confines of my life. Cracks and crevices get revealed. And I need rest and grace to fill in the cracks each day as I attempt to surrender to my good limitations. I need the Lord to go before me to find me rest, otherwise I'll just keep working ...

In 2024, I am seeking again to answer the call from God's steadfast, mysterious, and yet personal presence to enter into His rest. 

I Need the Scent of Eternity
in Order Not to be Enslaved
to Chronology

Below is an excerpt from The Rest of God: Restoring Your Soul by Restoring Sabbath (from "Chapter 2 | A Beautiful Mind: Stopping to Think Anew") by Mark Buchanan. The sentences below have helped transform my practice in how to continue to receive God's invitation to rest, and I am returning again to these words now as I trust God's presence and grace will continue to free me from slavery to chronology:

Embedded in the Greek language, expressed in two distinct words for 'time,' is an intuition about the possibility of sanctified time. Time, they knew, has two faces, two natures. ...
The first ... is chronos 
familiar to us because it's the root of many of our own words: chronology, chronicle, chronic. It is the time of clock and calendar, time as a gauntlet, time as a forced march. The word derives from one of the gods in the Greek pantheon. Chronos was a nasty minor deity, a glutton and a cannibal who gorged himself on his own children. He was always consuming, never consummated. ....
The second Greek word is kairos. 
This is time as gift, as opportunity, as season. It is time pregnant with purpose. In kairos time you ask, not 'What time is it?' but 'What is this time for?' Kairos is the servant of holy purpose. ...
This year, this day, this hour, this moment each is ripe for something: Play. Work. Sleep. Love. Worship. Listening. Each moment enfolds transcendence, lays hold of a significance beyond itself. ...
Chronos betrays us, always. It devours the beauty it creates, but sometimes chronos betrays itself: it stirs in us a longing for Something Else – something that the beauty of things in time evokes but cannot satisfy. Either we end up as the man in Ecclesiastes did: driven, driven, driven, racing hard against chronos, desperate to seize beauty but always grasping smoke, ashes, thorns. Seeking purpose and finding none, only emptiness. Or we learn to follow the scent of eternity in our hearts. We begin to orient toward kairos. ...
+ pgs. 36-38

Stepping into Kairos Time
During Your Work Week

In making time to rest in the midst of a full life, I'm learning how to trust again and again that I'm obeying God's invitation to resist chronos and seek more kairos. And I believe Jesus will generously offer me kairos moments that renew me in awe and contentment, in worship and wonder. 

Will you join with me in looking how to welcome Jesus as Lord of the Sabbath into each work week so we don't exhaust ourselves by trying to be more (or less) than human? The first step to discovering more faith at work (and in rest) could begin with asking, "Jesus, if You're present with me, can You offer me a new way to see things now to prepare me for what's ahead that includes the rest You always offer?"

Christ is all,

Rev. Mike “Sully” Sullivan

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