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What is a Sabbatical?

“This week, I want to share what sabbatical is not. Sabbatical is not vacation. While there is intentional rest from the rigors and demands of everyday ministry, the time is devoted to God and growing in faith..”

Hello Gloria Dei, 

God gave the Ten Commandments to the people of Israel. They are important for us even today.  

As Pastor Chris references below, the third commandment says: “Remember the Sabbath Day and Keep it Holy.” 

Martin Luther includes an explanation of this commandment in the Small Catechism. “We are to fear and love God, so that we do not despise preaching or God’s word, but instead keep that word holy and gladly hear and learn it.” 

In addition, when God created the world, he knew that we and all of creation needed regular times of rest. Therefore, we read in Genesis that on the seventh day, God rested. Regular rest. Regular sabbath. Regular worship. Regular study of God’s word. Regular learning. All are important and necessary for a healthy and balanced life. All are part of God’s third commandment. 

From the word Sabbath comes the word Sabbatical. Over these next few weeks, Pastor Chris will be sharing a bit about what sabbatical is all about. We are blessed as pastors to receive from you, every seven years or so, the opportunity for an extended time of sabbatical. Chris will be on sabbatical from late May until late August. Please see Pastor Chris’ first segment below. 

See you in worship, 

Pastor Tim 

  

What is a Sabbatical? 

Hi Gloria Dei! As I sit down to write, I am less than one month away from the gift of a lifetime: sabbatical! I will be on sabbatical from Memorial Day weekend until the end of August. One gift among many you all give your staff at Gloria Dei is the opportunity to take an intentional sabbatical. Sabbatical is a time set aside to spend with God in ways that allow for renewal, reinvigoration, and rest. Sabbatical takes its cues from the third commandment “Remember the sabbath day and keep it holy.” God commanded that we set aside time to spend with Him. 

I wanted to take time over the next few weeks leading up to my sabbatical to share with you more about my time and what it will look like. It is not lost on me what a gift this time is. I wish everyone, in every vocation, would have an opportunity like this. The fact that you all allow for this gift shows your leadership in taking God’s command seriously. 

This week, I want to share what sabbatical is not. Sabbatical is not vacation. While there is intentional rest from the rigors and demands of everyday ministry, the time is devoted to God and growing in faith. What that looks like depends on each person and the gifts and passions God has given them. It also depends on what each person needs in order to fully live into the life God is calling them to live.  

For me, setting aside time devoted to God will mean focusing on discipleship and Christian community building. I will be taking time every day to read the scriptures and read books that devote themselves to the great commission of Jesus in Matthew 28: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…” I have a growing stack of books on my desk and have a class lined up to take a good look at what Jesus means by those words. 

Stay tuned next week for more on “What is a Sabbatical?” 

-Pastor Chris 

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