Pastor on Retreat – Keeping the Sabbath

Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work,  but the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God.
~Exodus 20:8-9

You would think as a pastor I would be really good at keeping the Sabbath, I mean, the main goal in keeping the Sabbath is to hear God’s Word and to Worship on this day we keep holy. It’s sort of my job to do that.

But like God who rested on the seventh day, we are supposed to find rest as well. And that’s not something I’m always very good at.

As part of my annual conference with my synod, I joined in this year on the wellness retreat that for two days before the official business-y part of the conference starts. That’s where I’m at right now – I’m on retreat.

And although there are still moments like this, where I’m working and writing or planning out the Lenten services for March, I’ve been surprised at how much I really needed this optional part of the week.

Because even though I’m a pastor, and even though I do a pretty good job of hearing and sharing God’s Word, of worshiping our Lord, I needed the extra reminder for rest, for prayer, and for holiness.

So these last 24 hours or so have been that extra push for me – it has been time of quiet, where I’ve let my mind wander and also let my prayers wander up to God. I’ve been gifted in time with colleagues in these holy spaces as we share our anxiety and our gratitude. I’ve been reminded of my creator, my redeemer, in my heart, not just my mind, and I’ve been finding moments of peace – of sabbath in the midst of it.

And the best part of a retreat like this? Is that I get to go into tomorrow’s conference and come back to my congregation next week with new ideas on helping to lead others into these places of holy rest, on taking better care of myself so that I can care better for those I pastor to, and that I don’t have to cook anything for four days!

How are you keeping the Sabbath? What kinds of holy rest do you find yourself doing? Do you think you could use more Sabbath in your life?

Pastor Megan Filer
Pastor Megan Filer

2 responses to “Pastor on Retreat – Keeping the Sabbath”

  1. Barbara Price Avatar
    Barbara Price

    Praise God for reminding us, through you, to rest and reflect.

  2. Lee Limpach Avatar
    Lee Limpach

    Now wait a minute. Which day of the week is the Sabbath? Not a problem. I watch Fiddler on the Roof. It’s just sundown to sundown. Could be Friday to Saturday, Saturday to Sunday….or.? However, since the Sabbath is the Lord’s Day and therefore a day of rest, do Rabbis rest on the 7th day (Saturday) and minister on the 1st day (Sunday)? Or, do Christian ministers work on the 7th day of the week (Sunday)? And follow the International calendar as Monday the 1st day of the week? Or my head is spinning? This calls for another glass of wine. Forgive me for I have Zinned.

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