Dear Christ Church,
Three big things are just around the corner for us at Christ Church. March 9th will be my last Sunday before my family and I begin our sabbatical. Lent begins with Ash Wednesday, March 5th. Also in March, we will begin a preaching series through the book of Exodus. One common thread to all of these is the rich biblical theme of rest, Sabbath rest.
All of history is moving toward Sabbath rest, the day when creation is restored, when humankind, the triune God and all creation are in right relationship with each other.
In the book of Exodus we are given the story of how God delivered the Israelites out of oppression in Egypt and into the Promised Land, where God’s people would live in God’s place under God’s loving reign. Sabbath rest.
In Lent we are reminded of our mortality, the gift of time and the call to repentance; during Holy Week we walk with Jesus through his final week of redemptive suffering and crucifixion; and then the tomb bursts open with new life and freedom through the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Sabbath rest for all who turn to him.
This Lent the staff and Vestry are going to read and discuss a wonderful book by Mark Buchanan, The Rest of God: Restoring Your Soul by Restoring Sabbath. This is my book recommendation for the people of Christ Church for Lent 2014. During this season of my sabbatical, as my family and I practice the rhythm of Sabbath rest, and as the church leadership learns together, let’s grow together in the rest of God. Read it in your small group, with a friend or two or three, discuss it and, most of all, let’s live it by God’s grace.