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What is a Sabbatical For?

Sabbatical.  Sometimes it's hard not to feel guilty that I get one.  It feels bad right until I remember how badly I needed a break.  But then I flip back, remembering that others do not get to do this, for the most part.  So its a conflicted thing.

But perhaps the thing that helps it make the most sense in my mind is that my particular work as a pastor is supposed to be an ongoing blessing in the individual lives and corporate life of our community.

Toward that end, I am learning that Sabbatical is about listening.  It is listening to the quiet voices of streams, to the soft echoes of Benny's slow breathing as she sleeps and, I hope, to deep and slow whispers of God's life and Spirit.

Last night my good friend, Ian, reminded me that though so many people read the Bible as a kind of God Encyclopedia, the text itself is comprised of stories, songs, and letters.  These kinds of writing are all about introductions.  The biblical text is about sparking a curiosity, offering …

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