Cherry Pickin’s June 2024

Cherry Pickin’s – June 2024

June brings with it an appreciated reminder of the importance of rest and renewal – even if, for many of us, it takes most of the month before the lesson takes hold.  Westminster will be with you through this time of rest and renewal as we enter our annual ‘Summer Mode’ (please follow the link or see the church website for details).

The deeper lesson is, however, timeless.  It’s been shared in formal and informal ways, with both spiritual and secular overtones, in many cultures and traditions throughout time.  In Hebrew Scripture, it is expressed most familiarly in Exodus 20:8, Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you may work and perform all your labor, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to YHWH.”  And, I especially like how the author, Wayne Muller, interprets this lesson: “‘Remember the Sabbath’ means ‘Remember that everything you have received is a blessing. Remember to delight in your life, in the fruits of your labor. Remember to stop and offer thanks for the wonder of it.’”  The Vilna Gaon – Rabbi Elijah – also expressed the meaning of this lesson profoundly well: ”What we create becomes meaningful to us only once we stop creating it and start to think about why we did so.”

And so ‘Rest and Renewal’ have a deeper purpose and benefit than providing the chance to catch one’s breath, as important as that is.  Rest and Renewal invite us into reflection and meaning-making, which living fully, purposefully, and joyfully depend upon.  What a blessing it is to embrace the Sabbath tradition – broadly understood – at Westminster: week to week, during our Summer Mode, and throughout our lives.

This summer, during rest and reflection, I’ll be thinking deeply about our ministry together, in the sabbath spirit of Rabbi Elijah, why we did what we did, and why it matters.  I hope you will too, as a part of our farewell process with each other.  Sabbath reflection is a special opportunity to put things into their place, into context, and prepare for the beautiful dawn just over the horizon.

And, we’ll continue our farewell and leave-taking journey, together, over the weeks ahead.   The long goodbye has had beautiful moments already, and I look forward to completing that path fully with you in the best imaginable ways.  Throughout it, and long after we’ve said a final goodbye, I ask you to remember that all we have shared remains precious – and that the joy of it only grows stronger if we embrace the glorious future that opens before us.

In Faith, Rev. Eric