105 Franklin St, South Hill, Virginia


South Hill United Methodist Church


8Remember the Sabbath day and treat it as holy. 9 Six days you may work and do all your tasks, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. Do not do any work on it—not you, your sons or daughters, your male or female servants, your animals, or the immigrant who is living with you. 11 Because the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and everything that is in them in six days, but rested on the seventh day. That is why the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

Exodus 20:8-11


So I finally was able to take some vacation time. Multiple factors combined to prevent my usually scheduled time off this summer. And I could definitely tell it was time. I always can. When I don’t have time away, I lose my ability to handle stress and difficult situations with grace. Unfortunately, my family is usually carries the brunt of my building frustrations. Time away made me realize again how important time away is. Maybe that’s why God gave us the gift of Sabbath. We aren’t designed to run 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Everyone needs some time to recharge, and we all need time with God. Even Jesus went away by himself to pray. You can find several of the instances scattered throughout the Gospels, especially in Matthew. But even with the few examples of specific time away, we get the definite impression that it was a usual practice of Jesus. If Jesus, God Incarnate, the only Perfect One, needed time away in prayer, then we flawed humans definitely need it. Somehow, we have come to believe a pervasive lie that if we work continually, we will be more productive. Recently completed research shows quite definitively otherwise something that has been known by humans from the beginning. God even told us that when he gave the Israelites the Ten Commandments.

So, I encourage you: make sure you take time for yourself. Make sure you make intentional time to be with God. John Wesley spent at least an hour every morning (usually more) in prayer. I believe that there are very few problems in the world that could not be solved if more people were more purposeful about prayer and seeking a life aligned with God’s will. Sabbath is not a rule to be imposed on others, Sabbath is for YOU to be able to be a better you. Spend time with God and God’s people regularly. Use your vacation time at work, if you have any, to recharge. The world will continue to revolve without you for a few days, and will revolve better once you return refreshed.

We are God’s people. God wants us to be his people. And God wants us to be the best people possible. That cannot happen without us seeking God and each other in community. Let us seek God regularly, rest when possible, and tackle the difficult world around us refreshed, together.

Yours in Christ, Pastor Brian

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