Transforming Traditions

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There are traditions or spiritual disciplines for our time with the Lord that can be restfully transformative.

Before we begin our set aside time with the Lord or as we call it a Sabbath, we must allow ourselves to experience excitement, a sense of anticipation, or just a feeling of peace at being one who “walks with God.”  If we have any doubts or cynicism about what this experience might be like, we express that to God.  We must be sure to offer an invitation to God to speak to us, and to show us things about Himself that we need to know. 

There are things we can do, or traditions we embrace, that help us to get a right minded focus in our time of Sabbath. Three traditions that can be a blessing to our souls and others are having a Sabbath box, offering a blessing, and a Sabbath walk.

 SabbathBox: A Sabbath box is for holding all the equipment we do not need on theSabbath.  As we enter our time of Sabbathrest we put in the box all the things that should not be taken into our sacredtime.  When we are stripped of all of ourtools, toys, and machines we can truly pray. For some of us it will be phones,computers, or a list of all the things we have left undone.  Jesus tells us “Therefore do not be anxiousabout tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself.  Sufficient for the day is its own trouble(Matthew 6:34). 

In our time of Sabbath we take our hand off the plow, and allow God to care for what is needed.

At the end of Sabbath time, be aware of how we open the box, and respond to what we are taking back into our lives.

Blessing: My friend Sarah has a family tradition of celebrating a Sabbath meal.  Before the meal begins either she or herhusband will put their hands on their children’s shoulders as they stand behindthem seated at the table.  They offer aprayer of blessing, happiness, and strength for each child.  The children love this tradition as itencourages each of their hearts to the beauty of Sabbath and God’s gift of lifeto them.

Sabbath Walk: A Sabbath walk is a walk without any purpose other than to be with God andinvite Him to reveal Himself from nature. We walk to be alert to the ways nature reveals God to us.  We simply linger and allow the moments to be,to smell the air, to hear the birds, to observe whatever is available to us.  We simply let our souls catch up with ourbodies and minds.  If we have a question weare wrestling with these days, feel free to take the question with us – not towork on it intellectually to find an answer, but in the spirit of saying to Godas we might say to a friend, “Could we go for a walk together?  I have something I want to talk to you about.”

 At the end of the walk notice what has happened to our bodies, minds, and sense of time.  Then, thank God for the gift of life and His loving presence.

“If you turn back your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on my holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight and the holy day of the Lord honorable; if you honor it, not going your own ways, or seeking your own pleasure, or talking idly, they you shall take delight in the Lord, and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth…” (Isaiah 58:13-14).

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