Greetings from Pastor Lee Barstow
Dear LCC Community,
The media are filled these days with reviews of the last year and predictions for the new
year. I think we all have renewed hope for 2021, if only because of what we have endured this past year. (Don’t let the door hit you on the way out, 2020!)
As we balance on this hinge point, let’s think for a moment about what has gotten us through. What has given us the courage and the hope and the comfort we have needed to persevere? I believe the source for such inner strength comes from our connection with the divine… God... Christ… Oneness… Wisdom. It doesn’t matter what you call the divine creation mystery in all of us and everything… and it doesn’t matter how you connect to it. Ideally, we use what works and we leave the rest behind.
There’s a book I’m reading that talks a lot about regularly practicing this connection… giving ourselves time to connect, called Sabbath. Author Wayne Muller says the meaning of Sabbath is to connect regularly with the divine in order to get the rest and the inner strength we need. He writes, “Sabbath is a way of being in time where we remember who we are, remember what we know, and taste the gifts of spirit and eternity.”  It is these gifts of spirit and eternity that give us the strength and wisdom to weather hardship and to thrive.
It is no accident that observing Sabbath is the first of the 10 Commandments. Traditionally, one day a week has been given over to Sabbath practice. But in a broader sense, Sabbath is any time we devote to connecting to the divine. When we give ourselves “Sabbath time,” we allow our inner reservoir to fill with the living water that is essential to all life. We enliven and heal ourselves, and so we enliven and heal the world.
We have reason to hope for a better 2021. We also know the new year will have challenges as well as blessings. Let us rise to meet these as our best selves, by taking the time we need to practice the presence of God. May it be so for each and every one of us.
Peace and blessings,
 Wayne Muller, Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight in Our Busy Lives, Random House (2020), p. 6.