By Michael Harper, PYWA Director
I have to be honest about this whole Sabbath thing—I don’t really know much about it. And that’s not a good thing.
I mean, I’ve heard a few sermons on the topic and I’ve been to a couple of spirituality retreats. I’ve attempted to join a meditation group no less than five times and talked myself out of sticking with it each time. In my mind, I value the concept of Sabbath and spiritual renewal, but my life certainly doesn’t reflect this value. Does yours?
I supposed that’s why it’s so important for youth workers to engage Sabbath practices. As Mich Phillips explains in a recent Presbyterian News Service article, youth workers have a lot on their plates. We spend our lives helping young people, often at the expense of our own spiritual lives.
My lack of understanding about Sabbath time as a spiritual practice has become obvious as we've made plans for the Youth Worker Sabbath. Luckily, my friend and colleague Gina Yeager-Buckley has lots of great experience in planning and leading Sabbath experiences. As I was explaining my frustrations with people looking at this opportunity as a day off, her response completely shifted my understanding of Sabbath. She said, “Instead of thinking about it as a day off, start helping people understand that it's a day of.”
Think about it. It’s a day of spiritual renewal. It’s a day of reading Scripture. It’s a day of doing something that reconnects you with God’s love.
I hope that you’ll join us in claiming Thursday, April 5th—not as a “day off,” but as a “day of.”