Dear Cathedral Family,
I am thankful for your outpouring of love this week in our celebration of life and eternal life for our brother and Junior Warden John Brooks. Our worship together at his service on Thursday was an experience of healing and hope-giving for those among us who grieve—and even more, a foretaste of the heavenly banquet that John now enjoys even as he continues to live with us in the Body of Christ. In our reading from the Letter to the Hebrews for this Sunday, the feeling of such worship comes through: “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us give thanks, by which we offer to God an acceptable worship with reverence and awe.”
In our gospel lesson this Sunday, Jesus teaches that worship and the Sabbath are always about freedom and eternity. Freedom—from being bound to our burdens, whatever they may be; and eternity—the timeless dwelling place of God in which our earthly life and time is contained.
Rabbi Abraham Heschel’s beautiful short book The Sabbath describes it this way: “The higher goal of spiritual living is not to amass a wealth of information, but to face sacred moments. […] Spiritual life begins to decay when we fail to sense the grandeur of what is eternal in time.”
The Sabbath, understood this way, becomes so much more than just a day of rest so that we can work and produce more. It is a day of freedom so that we can truly live more.
I look forward to our worship together this Sunday.