Be Still and Know That I Am God
Dear friends in cyberspace,
I write to let you know I am on the brink of a new approach to winter for myself: I am going to be still from Christmas to Easter this year. Well, almost still.
With a few exceptions, I am going to hibernate this winter, something I have never done before. I want to share the two major reasons I am doing this. I also want to tell you what the exceptions will be.
What prompted this idea was thinking about the impact upon me of what is called “seasonal affect.” When I look back, I can see how the dark and cold of winter has had a serious influence upon me all my life. Winter is the time of year when I have sprained or broken things, suffered from the blues, crumpled the car, endured insomnia or regularly missed appointments written in my calendar. This has gotten more noticeable as I have gotten older. Back in the summer, I began worrying about this winter.
So I decided to take an approach different from the resistance or denial I have tried most often. I began to arrange matters so I can be still—dwell as consciously and quietly as I can in God—this winter.
That leads to the other reason I am doing this: the proven value of Sabbath rest. It was ten years ago this past summer that Nancy McConn and Brenda Cole invited me to preside at their wedding. Public witness to the heart of marriage being the love between the partners and to the place of LGBT people in God’s loving heart has taken many different forms for me since then.
In 2009, after the three years of judicial scrutiny in the PCUSA ended, I turned a small website created before the second trial into a blog. I have posted my thoughts in cyberspace consistently for six years. It is time to pause. And I will, except for two things.
I am going to continue what I call the Daily Qs, the question I shoot out at noon each day based on a verse from the daily lectionary in the Book of Common Worship for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). I started these on Pentecost in 2009. At Pentecost, 2015, I will have offered a question for reflection on all three passages for every day in the two-year cycle except for variations caused by Easter’s dependence on the lunar calendar. Preparing these has become a spiritual discipline that I treasure and I want to complete the cycle. I am open to suggestions about whether I continue after that. Has this Daily Question been valuable to you?
The second exception is that I will read what others send out on Facebook and Twitter as, I confess, I have come to value the way these keep me in touch with you all. I just won’t share, except for the Daily Qs.
I am taking a Sabbath rest from Christmas to Easter this year so that I can be still and—God willing—come to know God more deeply. Of course, you will remain in my heart.
Stay well. The peace of Christ be with you all,
Good for you to be taking a time to be still, to be quiet, for reflection…. and for Sabbath rest from Christmas to Easter.
Merry Christmas to you and your family.
Deepest thanks, Michael! And back at you!