Sabbath keeping is the practice of taking time out to be refreshed. In the first Creation account the author says this: “God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.” (Genesis 2:3) It’s important to make sure we can give our best, and this is only possible when we look after ourselves. Keeping the sabbath can at times become a chore and life-draining, rather than life giving. And the people of Jesus’ day were struggling with this, hence Jesus said to them: “The sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the sabbath.” – Mark 2:27 The important thing is that we take time out from our work and rest.
The pattern is that we work a maximum of 6 days, and have at least 1 days rest. Farmers would also do that with their fields. They would farm a field for 6 years, and then give the field a sabbath. Although modern farming today, recognises that it is often better or rest a field after 3 years use, that more frequent sabbaths are required.
As a way of sabbath keeping, Anglican ministers after 10 years service are allowed to take a sabbatical. A sabbatical is a time of refreshment, where you refresh yourself for your next stage of ministry. I will be taking June, July and August off for a sabbatical. In that time Revd Pam Tizzard will be the “Priest in charge.” Pam has worshipped with us for the last year and has offered to help out on a half-time basis while I’m on sabbatical.
I will be spending some of my time at home writing, and some of my time at St John’s college reading. This is a time of refreshment where I can read books and get new ideas. And where I can read what I have written over my 10 years in Papakura and reflect on my ministry and collate my thoughts. I plan to blog as I write and read. It would be great if you read my blog and interact with me during this time. My blog will be at www.blundell.net.nz Please pray for me at this time for refreshment and inspiration; I’m really looking forward to it.