“Commit to Rest: Seasons” by The Rev. Stephanie Kendell

August 22nd,2019 Categories: Stephanie Kendell Letters, Weekly Letter

Beloved Church,

This week has been full. There have been fellowship gatherings and deadlines, pastoral care and sermon writing, program planning and curriculum writing, and last night YASS even went to the theater together. And while that may seem like a lot, I feel rested. Ministry and our people are a source of energy for me and so part of my commitment to rest is to engage intentionally. There are so many things happening at The Park, I hope that you continue to like and share all the things that we are doing, that would not be possible without your support. We would not be us, without you.

This week’s scripture took me by surprise in the best way possible. In my experience Ecclesiastes is not a book that we preach from often and is not generally the source of people’s favorite scripture but having read our scripture now over and over (I just can’t get enough of it), it is quickly becoming one of mine. This week’s scripture feels alive. It is the perfect text for our last week of our monthly commitment to rest (something, I might add, that should not end at the end of the month), because it reminds us that something new is coming. I often say, we rest so we can continue, and this week’s scripture reminds us that the everything in life continues and takes breaks. The seasons and moments in life move us forward and sideways and sometimes even backwards. But no matter which way the Spirit moves us, it is always- and intentionally- toward God.

There is a time for everything,
a season for every purpose under heaven:
a season to be born and a season to die;
a season to plant and a season to harvest;
a season to hurt and a season to heal;
a season to tear down and a season to build up;
a season to cry and a season to laugh;
a season to mourn and a season to dance;
a season to scatter stones and a season gather them;
a season for holding close and a season for holding
a season to seek and a season to lose;
a season to keep and a season throw away;
a season to tear and a season to mend;
a season to be silent and a season to speak;
a season to love and a season to hate;
a season for hostilities and a season for peace. (Ecc. 3:1-8)

I know that the trying seasons in our lives can often feel as if they will never end and that the joyous seasons seem to conclude much quicker than we had hoped. But this scripture reminds us that God is always with us and always moving us into something new. We often talk about how God is still speaking to us through scripture, prayer, and people and I truly believe that this is one of those texts for us right now. We are about to start the new program year, soon we will have some new space to dream in, new members bring new life and vision into the church, and not to get too Game of Thrones-y but winter is coming.

Friends, some of the times in our lives are easier to anticipate than others, but the hope that continues to lead us is the faith that we love a God who is a creator- a mover and a shaker- a God of new seasons. So, when things get tough- and they will- or when unexpected joy greets you – and it will – remember that this is God at work, concluding and beginning new seasons in our lives and the life of the church. Because seasons are movements and our God is a mover.
And so are we.

Shalom Y’all,
Rev. Stephanie

A quick prayer for your week: God, I am part of your movement of justice. Amen