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Following Jesus into sabbath

Following Jesus into sabbath

Dear Companions on the Journey,

How shall we follow Jesus in a world with competitive voices demanding our attention and allegiance? We might even ask ourselves if it makes sense to follow anything or anyone given the multiple betrayals of public trust by so many institutions, including the church. Following Jesus is further complicated by the variety of traditions claiming to know the true way to follow him.

It is enough to make one stop trying. We settle for a sense of peace on Sunday morning in preparation. But there is more in store for us. Jesus invites us to come with him to a quiet place to rest (Matthew 6:30-31). Could it be that sabbath is a vital part of following?

I claim an affirmative response to that question for you and for me. Sabbath is crucial to our ability to follow Jesus. Our natural tendency is to complete one task, chore, goal, event, and then immediately prepare for the next. We often bypass the chance to reflect on what was completed, forget to celebrate completion, and move past rest in a headlong attempt to control outcomes. Our version of the famous Julian of Norwich quote could be, “All will be well, because I will make it so.”

The only way to exit the endless treadmill of action is to follow Jesus to the quiet place for rest. While weekly sabbath of worship, rest, reflection, and time with family and friends is restorative, most of us need something more. Retreat to nature, unscheduled time at a monastery or convent, and vacation away from familiar routines or surroundings are some of the ways we can enter a deeper sabbath.

Whether your sabbath is a short break each day, a weekly commitment, or a spiritual retreat, living into sabbath will help you follow the one we profess as Savior of the World, Jesus. I look forward to hearing about your spiritual adventures in the quiet place of sabbath.

Grace and peace,
Bishop Hughes

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