Sixteen pilgrims from Hickory Neck Church traveled to England for 8 days of pilgrimage. Our focus was on choral music, hearing Evensong or Choral Mass at a Cathedral, Minster, or college everyday. This is the third entry, initially posted on our church Facebook page. For those of you who do not follow us on Facebook, I am repeating the journey’s daily entries here. Enjoy!
Today our pondering question was about sabbath, a fitting reflection for a Sunday full of worship. But even though I help create pondering questions, I rarely know how they will be answered. I was surprised, then, to see how much I learned about sabbath in churches today.
One of our hymns at St. John’s College set the perfect tone. You’ll see the words in the picture below. In it, Jesus offers the invitation to come unto him and rest – that we find resting in Him. Sabbath has always seemed to me to be about “escape from,” as in, escape from work, from stress, from the worldly. I had never thought of sabbath as being “escape to,” as in, escape to Jesus.
The other observation we made about sabbath was making room. St. John’s used the English pattern of praying the psalms where you pause an extra few seconds at the asterisks (or, half verse). This extra breath made the words breathe and come alive. Meanwhile, at King’s we found the liturgy was not rushed. There were pauses in familiar prayers or the Creed that were unfamiliar, forcing us to slow down and pace ourselves with the liturgy leaders. The liturgies themselves today modeled how to find sabbath, how to make room in our words and worship. We would love to hear what you did with your Sabbath today. How did you make space, or escape unto Jesus?