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Posts from: 01/2015

Sabbath: A Taste of Heaven

January 27, 2015

In the fall term this year, the Friday Feast pastorate (a mid-size group that meets every term on Friday evenings to feast, worship, and fellowship together) took part in the season of Sabbath that Resurrection has called us into by sharing personal stories of Sabbath engagement.

Each week, a member of the pastorate told of a time when they met the Lord because they engaged intentionally in holy rest. These stories included:

  • Al Cedeno telling of how it was in taking a Sabbath time apart that the Lord told him to start the Friday Feast pastorate.
  • I shared about finding the Sabbath holy rhythm of life that comes from serving and engaging in the life of the church.
  • Deacon Val McIntyre telling about a silent prayer retreat where she learned that any desire we have to pray is a direct gift from the Lord.
  • Robb Robins encountering the Lord's presence in the wilderness on camping trip.
  • Karen Hansen resting in the Lord's provision through a season of Sabbath caused by a change of employment.
  • Helen Wieger contemplating the story of Abraham and Sarah in the wilderness and the manner in which the Lord met them each step of their journey.
  • Mark McIntyre singing an original song about meeting the Lord's presence in nature.
  • Brandon Burdette teaching on the story of Mary and Martha and inviting us to be Mary and revel in the Lord's presence in this Sabbath season.
  • Ellen Richard learning to Sabbath by letting the Lord reign in her whole life, including her efforts to learn how to Sabbath.

I was blessed to give the final teaching for the term, and when I sat down to prepare I began by listing out all of the incredible stories that had been shared over the course of our weeks together. The list I created is the one you see above, and I was struck reading over it by how it tells a story of its own: that of God, waiting eagerly to meet us when we engage in his Sabbath.

This thought led me to contemplate Sabbath as holy time, a moment when we are given a taste of what heaven will be like. In Sabbath, we are invited into God's presence, just as in heaven we will bask in the unadulterated joy of being with Jesus. This is made real to me every Sunday when I meet the Lord in the music, the liturgy, the sermons, and most of all Eucharist. Sabbath days are heaven days, and we are richly blessed at Resurrection to be invited into a season of savoring these holy moments.

Click here to listen to Meghan's teaching on Sabbath: a Taste of Heaven.

Click here to learn more our pastorates and various other groups.

Meghan Robins
Pastoral Care Manager
meghan@churchrez.org

Waking Up to the Truth and Telling It

January 26, 2015

I have sometimes imagined myself living during a great human rights struggle, and wondered what I would do. If I were an American in 1850, would I perceive slavery for the evil it was and fight the norms and institutions of my day to end it? If I were a German in 1943, would I risk my reputation and livelihood to challenge the system that sent my neighbors to die in extermination camps?

A few weeks ago, I decided to attend a meeting at Rez on pro-life issues and got a wake-up call: I am living during a great human rights struggle right now.

Honestly, I'd fallen asleep to the abortion crisis. The issue seemed too big and too complicated. I didn't know enough to do anything. It was offensive to oppose abortion rights. It was just one injustice among many.

But as I listened to law professor and Rez member Morse Tan teach at the meeting, I was deeply struck by three realities:

First, if I really believe that a baby before birth is the same person after birth, then the true situation is that thousands of people in the United States are killed through abortion each day.

Second, that the right to an abortion is actually a unique injustice. The norms and institutions of our society thankfully are united against many injustices such as human trafficking; sadly, they are divided on the issue of abortion rights.

Third, because our society doesn't recognize the truth about this injustice—at the cost of many lives—the need is great to speak out to challenge the status quo and to champion the lives of the not-yet-born.

Last Sunday, January 18, about 80 of us from Rez were privileged to raise our voices with over 4,000 others to do a small part in this effort at the 2015 March for Life Chicago. Top 40 tunes blared, yellow "LIFE" balloons were everywhere and counter-demonstrators lined the sidewalk across from Federal Plaza where we gathered. We walked the city streets, held signs, prayed and sang, but just as important as the "what" of the march is the "why." We gathered to tell the truth about abortion, to advocate for, love and celebrate the lives of babies not-yet-born. And we gathered to love and pray for the mothers and fathers whose lives are marked by abortion and, ultimately, to seek God's transforming work in their lives, in our government and in our communities to heal the darkness and destruction that abortion has caused.

FamilyPhoto March for Life 15 IMG 3561