“Rest as Resistance” by The Rev. Stephanie Kendell

June 28th,2018 Categories: Stephanie Kendell Letters, Weekly Letter

Photo by Rev. Stephanie Kendell

Beloved Church,

I hope you are continuing to live into the love that was shared at Pride Sunday. What a beautiful expression of God’s divine joy. I am also so thankful for the newly elected leaders of our church. Let us continue to keep this group of amazing humans in our prayers.

This week starts my sabbatical time and that is something that I am not great at. I have never been the one that takes vacations or leaves the office first. That statement is not something that I am proud of. Sabbath time is really something that I work at. I love my job and I care so passionately about what I do, that leaving it is hard. But this week’s passage has helped remind me of sabbatical time that is needed and the faith that must accompany that time of reflection and growth.

35 With the coming of evening that same day, Jesus said to the disciples, “Let’s cross over to the other shore.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took Jesus in the boat in which he was sitting. There were other boats with them.
37 Then a fierce gale arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat so much that it was almost swamped. 38 But Jesus was in the stern through it all, sound asleep on a cushion. They woke him and said, “Teacher, doesn’t it matter to you that we’re going to drown?”
39 Jesus awoke, rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Quiet! Be calm!” And the wind dropped and everything was perfectly calm. 40 Jesus then said to the disciples, “Why were you so frightened? Have you no faith?”
41 But they became filled with fear and said to one another, “Who is this, whom even the wind and sea obey?” Mark 4:35-41

The stories about Jesus sleeping are not the ones that are most memorable, especially in times of political unrest. But when Jesus sleeps, we need to pay attention. Jesus shows us that rest is a spiritual gift and must be practiced. In order to be our best selves, in order to live fully into our faith, in order to be fully awake to God’s work in the world, we need to rest.

I wonder what Jesus would dream about? DeRay Mckesson has a concept that he shared on The Two Dope Queens podcast with Phoebe Robinson, that “dreaming is an act of resistance.” Dreaming is creative and expansive just like our faith. And we dream best when we are well rested. I wonder if Jesus dreamed of the people he met? I wonder if Jesus dreamed about subverting the patriarchal norm? I wonder if Jesus dreamt about me?

Friends this week, may you rest and breathe deep of the love of Christ. May you find creative acts of resistance in your dreams. And may those dreams become a reality in this body of faith.

Shalom Y’all.
Rev. Stephanie