Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Embraces: Part 7

Every effort should end in sabbath.  Even God's effort in creation came to its fulfillment in "not creating," or in rest.

2:1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude. 2 And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done. 3 So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation. Genesis 2:1-3 (NRSV)

The blessing that God bestows on the seventh day is not like those that follow the six efforts of creation which end in "And God saw that it was good."  It is a blessing but it is more implied than spoken.  God made the day holy by resting, by letting go and not by any effort of creation or recognition.  

When we ordain in the Episcopal Church there is an embrace of the ordinand in the liturgy.  It is called the laying on of hands and there is special hymn sung that begs the presence of the Holy Spirit, Veni Creator Spiritus.  

Often bishops will prolong the period of silence before chanting and praying.  No matter how long all those elements take what happens last is that we take our hands off the newly ordained.  Our effort ends and we rest in what God has done in making a new deacon, or priest, or bishop.  

It is in that sabbath, that letting go that a blessing begins to be realized much like the blessing of God's rest for all that had transpired in the previous 6 days.  

The same principle applies to our embraces, whether physical, ministerial, missional, or evangelical.  You name it.  There is a blessing in the letting go.  

When we let go of hugging a loved one we are expressing our trust of God and of them and saying that the next moment doesn't need our control or input.  In ministry we are adding to number of ministers at that moment of letting go.  In mission we are joining to the embracers those who were subject to our reaching out to them first.  Now they are part of that team that reaches.  In evangelism we are crediting the Holy Spirit with informing the witness those newest angels will pronounce.  

We let go and in so doing we expand and enhance ours and God's blessing.

Just like sabbaths are hard for a busy people, especially those so highly motivated to keep attending Sunday worship, so too letting go is hard.  What a difference it makes to understand that there is a blessing that waits on our release, our letting go.

A blessing in realizing that God made us AND set us free!  Thanks be to God!

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