Jun 18th: Let Your Soul Catch Up With Your Body, with Rev. Dr. Steven Koski.
A Part of the Series:
In the story of creation, God is very busy creating for six days. And then God looks over all that God has created, including you and me. And God declares it all. Very good. And then the Bible says, On the seventh day,
God rested. God rested from all the work that God had done. So God blessed the seventh day,
and called it holy.
Did you notice that the first holy thing in all of creation, what was not people or a place
but a day of rest? God declared all of creation good. But when God rested in the goodness of creation,
God called that rest, holy.
Now that’s a different kind of God, than the gods of busyness, hurry production, achievement, that our culture worships.
Imagine a God
who rest is
a foundational part of creation, not an afterthought, but a foundational part of creation
is rest. Rest is not a reward you might get if you work hard enough.
Rest is a gift. Resting and delighting
in the goodness of creation
is an essential part of God’s rhythms.
Now this is a different kind of God,
than the God we worship in our culture. That demands production demands perfection,
where we measure our worth,
by relentlessly trying to prove we are worthy.
The God who rests
invites us to take time to rest in the knowledge
that we already are worthy.
The God who breasts actually makes rest, one of the 10 commandments. Commandment number four, Remember the Sabbath
and keep it holy.
This commandment to remember the day of rest and to keep it holy was given the God’s people at Mount Sinai during the Exodus when the children of Israel had just been liberated from slavery in Egypt.
They were slaves for 400 years.
They worked in the brickyard making bricks for Pharaoh.
Now they work long, oppressive days, producing as many perfect bricks as they possibly could in the day.
And their whole life was defined by that work and the anxiety and the stress of that work.
And even though they were now free,
they had long forgotten.
The goodness of creation, they have long forgotten
the goodness of their own lives.
You know, the gods of our culture are often like Pharaoh
demanding perfect bricks.
I mean, rest is something you do and in order to make more bricks.
I confess I’m often guilty of using my
using my day off. To catch up on the work. I didn’t accomplish the rest of the week. Anyone with me? Or reading books related to my work on my vacation?
It’s a different kind of God
who gives the gift of rest? And doesn’t make it a suggestion. But a commandment
who calls rest?
The theme for our worship this summer is as called
One thing I’ve been what’s the one thing we all need to be reminded up to live to live with greater resilience and compassion in these challenging days.
The one thing essential
for our spiritual well being and the well being of our world
is to remember Sabbath.
keep it holy.
To remember to rest.
Rest isn’t selfish.
I mean, self care isn’t selfish.
Rest is actually good stewardship.
have the gift you were put on earth to offer others,
which is the gift of your presence.
And anytime you give yourself
the soul care that you require,
you do it not only for yourself, but also for the many other people. Your life will touch in a day.
There was a Presbyterian medical mission team of doctors, dentists and nurses that traveled to Africa. And their Presbyterian congregation gathered medical supplies to be taken to a remote village. Now some of the supplies would be used as they treated people during their visit. And the remainder would be left to be used by medical students who were involved in field education there.
There were far more supplies than the mission team could handle on the road. So they hired some indigenous persons to carry the bulk of the load and, and to be their guides.
It was estimated that it would take them three days to go from the city to this remote village. And off they went. First day went smoothly. In fact, the group covered more ground than anticipated, you know, perhaps they would be able to get to the village in two days, you know, if they really, they really pushed themselves the next day.
But on the morning of the second day,
there guy guides were not in a hurry to get moving at all.
They were sipping their tea reverently.
They’re enjoying long conversations with each other.
And when there was no sign of leaving, and the clock said 10am, one of the doctors dare to ask
what’s causing the delay in our travel? Why are we wasting time we’re not we’re not paying you to sit there and do nothing.
And the guide said, it’s true.
If we left very early this morning,
we would be at the village long before we had planned.
But you are mistaken.
If you think we are doing nothing.
You see, it’s only our bodies that have traveled this far.
We are not wasting our time.
We are resting
and waiting for our souls to catch up with our bodies.
The indigenous guides have the wisdom to know
that when we’re when we’re when we are in a hurry when we’re constantly moving when we’re driven by our agendas.
We don’t allow our souls
to catch up with our bodies.
And we get out of sync with divine rhythms.
We need the gift of rest.
I mean there’s a tiredness that can be remedied by a good night’s sleep.
But there’s another kind of weariness
that can only be remedied by letting our souls catch up with our bodies.
I was watching politicians and union Talking Heads argue on one of the cable news networks this week. It wasn’t anything new was the same tired arguments and the way of arguing?
That is so out of sync so out of sync with divine rhythms. I mean, they were yelling they were assuming the worst in one another they were interrupting and talking over one another. They were demonizing those who disagreed with them. They were blaming and shaming each other.
You know the kind of artists sync conflict and hostility we see played out every day in our lives together. I was watching this and I wanted to yell, stop. Just stop. Timeout.
Take a breath.
Get up out of your chair.
Go for a walk outside.
In silence. Find some grass.
Take off your shoes and socks.
sit under a tree.
Listen to the birds.
Listen to the steady rhythm of your own heartbeat.
Look around you.
Be reminded of the goodness of creation.
Be reminded of your own goodness.
Let the flowers the trees the birds the breeze.
Tell you a different story.
Then the ugly story of hate and fear that just keeps getting recycled.
I so wanted to say to those people on television yelling at each other.
your soul hasn’t caught up with your body.
Rest for a minute.
Reconnect with your soul.
Friends, even if you’re outraged, and there are plenty of reasons, plenty of reasons to be outraged these days.
It’s too easy for outrage,
to become hate if we’re not careful.
It’s really too easy to become a reflection of the ugliness we are protesting.
Now outrage can be a sign that your soul is awake to how out of sync we are with divine rhythms.
eats away at your soul, hate eats away at the soul of our life together.
And there’s just far too much hate.
One of our greatest spiritual challenges right now
is to stay connected to our souls,
to be reminded of the goodness of creation,
to reclaim our own goodness, to see the goodness in others to stay connected
to what is holy, and life giving and soul nurture.
How can we possibly live as the presence of God’s goodness in the world
when we our selves are out of sync with that goodness out of sync with the capacity to see that goodness and others.
So God gives us a gift,
the gift of rest,
to let our souls catch up with our bodies. I mean, Jesus said, Come to me, all of you, all of you who are carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders, come to me, all of you who are drowning in a sea of despair. Come to me, all of you who are trying hard to be perfect, hard to make perfect bricks.
Come to me, all of you who are not just tired,
but soul tired.
Come to me.
And I will give you rest.
At the very first thing Jesus offers
is a place to stop, rest,
to be reminded that we are loved not for what we can do or accomplish.
But that we are simply loved.
And to be invited to simply rest
in that love.
You know most people I talked to maybe you as well, tell me why you know, it’s impossible. just impossible to establish consistent rhythms of rest.
Here’s an interesting spiritual exercise I encourage you to try.
Take a piece of paper,
cut it in half, make two lists.
And on one half of the paper,
list all of the things that you know,
that give you life. list those things that you know that nurture your soul, those those things that allow you to breathe easier.
And return you to yourself.
list those things
that you never take the time to do.
Then on the other half of the paper
make a list of all of the reasons
why you think it’s impossible for you
to do those other things.
That’s all there is to it.
Just make the two lists and keep the piece of paper where you can see it. Oh, one more thing.
promised not to shush your heart
when it shouts out for the list at once
and knows that your soul needs
friends let yourself receive the gift of rest.
for a day
or an hour or even 15 minutes.
Not because you’re sick
but because you desire to be well.
Talk someone you
All into being well with you.
Turn off all electronics, put away your phone.
Take a nap.
Go for a walk.
Drink tea slowly.
Eat a nourishing meal.
sit in silence.
In tell your anxious thoughts are silenced.
Listen without trying to solve or prove anything. Listen with curiosity listen as if love
was the only thing that mattered.
Test the premise
that you are worth more than what you can produce.
That even if you spent one whole day or or one hour of being good for nothing
you are still precious
in God’s sight.
You have nothing to prove to anyone.
Especially to God.
This is so important.
God made it a commandment.
It’s God’s gift to us. Remember to rest.
Keep rest holy. Let your soul catch up with your body.
You just might find yourself free
to divine rhythms.
May it be so