Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Three Word Wednesday: A Special Rest

Guest Joanne Viola writes about A Special Rest on Kristin Hill Taylor's Three Word Wednesday.

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Kristin's three words aren't necessarily a prompt; the idea is to write to any three words, though I like to default to Kristin's. As a driven, achieving, 21st century urbanite, I immediately resonated with the concept of rest; how delightful that Joanne mostly wrote about rest and recreation during the season of summer! Rest has been more than characteristically difficult for me because of my fire to help change the world coupled with too many disappointments, too many plans that didn't remotely pan out even minimally as I'd expected. So I've kept on keepin' on to making and working through more plans, with my head full of awareness that human bodies, minds, and spirits require regular rest and God mandates it, but...

I've been preparing to discuss the gospel reading from the Revised Common Lectionary with my adult SS class next Sunday. it begins with:
Luke 11:1-13

1He was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray, as John [the baptist] taught his disciples." 2He said to them, "When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. 3Give us each day our daily bread. 4And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us. And do not bring us to the time of trial."
You probably know about the Jubilee Year outlined in Leviticus 25? The Lord's Prayer rings with jubilee images: may the reign of heaven come on earth. Just as prairies and gardens need to rest from being planted and producing every seven years or so, just as God commands Sabbath and we need rest every seven days, we need a time of jubilee justice, forgiveness, liberation. Forgiveness is release! Forgiveness is freedom and opportunity to start over again. As forgivers and as the forgiven, we participate in jubilee. BTW, Matthew's version of this prayer talks about debts and shortcomings; Luke mentions "sins."

Summer is a special rest that parallels the time of jubilee because summer offers enticements to let go of, to release (the technical meaning of "forgive") our usual propensity to overwork and over plan. Summer means vacations from the normal school year, vacation days away from the workplace, better weather for spending time outdoors and basking in the glories of God's creation, specially scheduled activities like concerts, picnics, parties, fiestas, county fairs and festivals. Sabbath is not a time to lounge around and be lazy, but an opportunity to quit watching the clock, to stop counting and producing, to live fully into the moment with total awareness of our surroundings.

Joanne told us she loves the four (agricultural, meteorological, astronomical) seasons of spring, summer, autumn, and winter. I also enjoy them, and the variety we get in southern California is plenty enough for my taste. Summer's warmer, longer days make me want to wear funner, brighter, lighter clothes. Prepare lighter, more flavorful, juicier, more consistently locally-sourced meals. Spend more hours re-creating out in God's creation. Make my art and design more frivolous and fanciful. Less serious! Summer brings a sense of sabbath, conveys a special restfulness by simply being the condition of summer

The Lord's Prayer rings with jubilee images: may the reign of heaven come on earth. Summertime at its best is a season of jubilee—summer is heaven on earth! The special rest of summer leads us into living simply—simply living. Simply being who God created us to be.

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1 comment:

J.L. said...

Love the post :-) Just discovering your blog page...very inspiring & fresh!