Daily Prayer 365

Day 26
Monday, September 26, 2022


Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.   —Exodus 20:8–11

On Sunday mornings I often attend a church in which sometimes I sat with my grandfather, in which I sometimes sit with my grandchildren, and in which my wife plays the piano. But I am a bad-weather churchgoer. When the weather is good, sometimes when it is only tolerable, I am drawn to the woods on the local hillsides or along the streams. The woodlands here are not ‘the forest primeval’ or ‘wilderness areas.’ Nearly all are reforested old tobacco patches abandoned a lifetime or more ago, where you can still see the marks of cropland erosion now mostly healed or healing…. The idea of the Sabbath gains meaning as it is brought out-of-doors and into a place where nature’s principles of self-sustaining wholeness and health are still evident. In such a place—as never, for me, under a roof—the natural and the supernatural, the heavenly and the earthly, the soul and the body, the wondrous and the ordinary, all appear to occur together in the one fabric of creation.  —Wendell Berry, This Day: Sabbath Poems Collected and New


May we be drawn, O God of rest, to the woods and local hillsides, the unremarkable streams, and unexceptional garden landscapes where we might trust and know the natural and supernatural, the heavenly and earthly, the soul and body, the wondrous and ordinary, side by side. Amen.  —The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster

September 26, 2022

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