“So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation”  

– Genesis 2:3

“We used to sing the hymn ‘Take Time to Be Holy.’ But perhaps we should be singing, ‘Take time to be human.’ Or finally, ‘take time.’ Sabbath is taking time…time to be holy…time to be human.”  

– Walter Breuggemann, Sabbbath as Resistnace: Saying No to the Culture of Now  

“Treating each other and ourselves with care isn’t a luxury, but an absolute necessity if we’re going to thrive. Resting isn’t an afterthought, but a basic part of being human.”  

– Tricia Hersey, Rest is Resistance: A Manifesto 

Leo Gonzalez is a comedic online personality that has gained a large following for his POV (point of view) short videos he creates for social media. He recently graduated with a college degree and shared a clip in which someone approaches him asking what is next. He replies, “Nothing…that was a lot of work, and it took a long time. And I am just going to chill out and take it easy right now…That was stressful. It was a lot for my mental health. I’m done.” But the person with the microphone keeps probing: “Do you have a job lined up?” And Gonzalez, after giving the person the side eye, responds exasperated, “You don’t hear me, no! I’m chillin’. I’m going to go chill!”

Sometimes we need time to go chill, recover, rest, heal, and to feel human and whole again. It is not the kind of thing our society focuses on or promotes. We are a culture of constant productivity. A culture that ties self-worth and value to this production. Additionally, we devalue rest with the narrative that one should feel guilty when not producing.

Rest, however, is a fundamental need we have as human beings (just take a look at all the research on sleep and its connection to our health and well-being). Moreover, rest is foundational in our practice as people of faith. That our ancestors in faith understood this is seen in the presentation of the creation story in Genesis 1-2:3. God, the creator of the universe, rests. How could God’s creation not do the same? These ancestors penned a story of creation that offers a pattern for living.

After an intense few years with the upheaval created by the pandemic and its effects on our faith community, individuals within it, and our wider world, I find myself in need of dedicated time for rest and healing. I am grateful to our church leadership in their offer of an extended leave during the summer and for those who will be volunteering to make sure our ministry and missional work continues during this time. I will be with you this Sunday, June 4 and through the Caminantes day experience on Saturday, June 10. I will return August 6 following the General Assembly of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

I hope that this summer you will also seek moments for rest, and I pray that as we continue our journey together as Pastor and Congregation, we will design our lives in tune with Walter Brueggemann’s suggestion to take time, “time to be holy…time to be human.”