Mission Statement

Cyber Sabbath's goal is to begin to mend the division between Christ and the world (society) that Church has created through reflections, sermons and devotionals

Cyber Sabbath is a place for the stifled Christian voice to be heard. Media gives way to much time to the extremist - over looking the theologically educated and/or the moderates in favor of what sells their view point. Here, politics aside, a pastor reflects on God's voice in every day life.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Christmas Unfolds...


Watching Christmas unfold through the eyes of children is truly a special sight.  When my oldest was three, we were traveling through New York City.  And there outside one of the train stations we came upon a giant Christmas Tree.  With wide wondrous eyes, she exclaimed “WOW this is a lot of Christmas here!”  She was overwhelmed by the display as it was bigger than anything else she had seen.  Every year since with bright awestruck eyes she points out every decorated Christmas tree she sees.  And that is just one beautiful example of Christmas decorations – there are plenty: from snowmen to Rudolph. From snow globes to stockings; from wreaths to poinsettias; this is the holiday for decorating.  Stores begin putting Christmas decorations up earlier and earlier each year – now as early as September.  But whenever they get taken out and put up the tradition of decorating during this season is contagious.  Some may decorate for Easter and fewer yet will decorate for lent, advent, Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, and no one ever decorates their home for occasions like Pentecost.  But Christmas is the one Christian holiday we all do.

And so we celebrate the birth of the baby with such color and excitement that it is easy to forget that Jesus’ beginning was anything but.  In fact one might consider his entrance into this world to very dull.  It is pretty specular that from such a humble birth God’s wonder was revealed to be bigger then we all imagined.  That through the simple baby God’s grace was brought into this world.  Mary delivered a baby whose life was bigger than she could imagine – trusting God she pondered all these prophesies in her heart.  And a simple little package, a humble baby wrapped in bands of cloth lying the manger became the greatest gift we come to know on Earth – our Savior Christ! WOW

No wonder we want to spread this message of love, hope, joy and peace through cheer and decoration; through vivid colors and bright presents; through bows and packages bright until our awestruck eyes glimmer with joy exclaiming “Merry Christmas One and All!”

Today, we heard the Good News of Luke – the angels spoke to the awestruck Shepherd who in wonder and amazement thought “wow, that was an angel – could this be real?” And in that moment they searched in order to find, the greatest gift of all, the infant Savior.

But the greatest decorations and the brightest and biggest packages under the tree are triumphed when we remember what is offered to us through our faith and trust in Christ.  You see the Shepherds who were tending their sheep believed and followed the angels instructions and came upon the infant and with awestruck eyes the angels truth was told. 

It would have been pretty incredible to be one of those shepherds to have witness the angel speak and the heavenly host singing praises.  That would have been a sight for sure and surely enough to make one believe…but unfortunately none of us are old enough to have been witness that.  And yet we still believe!  None of us saw the infant Jesus wrapped and lying in a manger and YET we have come to know Christ in our own ways and have come to feel his love and to believe.  One does not have see to believe one has to feel to know.  And we have all felt the love of Christ throughout our lives. 

Sometimes God’s love seems as big and bright and as full as our Christmas decorations.  There are many “big” events in our life in which we are sure that God grace is filling our hearts and we know that the presence of the Holy is here.  But much of our lives is pretty ordinary.  Much of our lives isn’t spent in anticipation of God’s grace, isn’t spent with decorations reminding us of his love.  Much of our lives isn’t spent believing without doubt. 

The shepherds left Mary and her infant knowing that the things the angel told them were true and they came to pass.  Mary was left pondering all that had happened in her heart.  This Christmas let us remember that through a humble beginning God brought us the greatest gift of all – through an ordinary women God’s son was born.  Without lights or presents Jesus was born into this world on a dark evening vulnerable and without shelter. 

Whatever we may be without this Christmas season let us be filled with the love that God had for us knowing that he sent his only son to come to know humanity not for the awestruck wonder of our lives sometimes but for the quiet and vulnerable moments that make up most of our lives.  And that the biggest present doesn’t fit under the tree and can’t be wrapped for it is God’s grace and mercy.  Let us accept the amazing grace that is the Christ Child and spread the love of God now and forever knowing and pondering that God has even more planned for us.

 

Monday, December 7, 2015

Current Events

As I look back at the violence that has occurred and the aftermath the last few weeks I realize I should have responded earlier.  In part I did not because I couldn't, because anything I said wouldn't have been right.  When tragedy hits, there is no answer.  There is nothing any religious or spiritual person can say that will make everything better or make the pain go away.  There is NO easy button for pain and there is not a panic button that opens up the maze of chaos into an easy path out.  For these reasons, I didn't respond.  For nothing really needed to be said.  Silence can be grief's best friend and in the wake of violence responding with silence is better then blame.

We can blame religious groups, we can blame guns, we can blame governments and we can find escape goats in every situation.  But we need to own our own part in the story - our own contributions to each day that continue to stir the fires extremist, hate and most of all the anger that is needed for violence. 

I am shocked at what people on FB just repost - most of all shocked for the amount of crazy things people believe and forward without looking into.  We continue to divide ourselves and the world up by forgetting about the grey - forgetting about compassion and grace.  We continue to make hasty and rash decisions and assumptions based on a few "news" worthy situations.  We continue to trust that the "news" is actually reporting all of the news. 

Anger, pain, violence, hate all that is evil is all around us.  When we continue to blame and pin others as the reason for all the bad we are only living into evil.  We are giving in and giving a name to the evil around us - the devil. 

God has not left us.  God has not forgotten about us.  God does not continue to let all the bad things happen in the world.  God is not watching us from afar and laughing at the destruction, but is instead weeping.  Weeping with all of us who know that it is the world that has turned its back on God. 

There is no war on Christmas.  Christmas is here and all round us.  People are "giving" in the "Spirit of Christmas" People are singing hymns of Christ's birth.  But what all Christian's are forgetting is that this is not the time of "Christmas" - we are in the time of "Advent."  A time of longing for Christ to come.  A time for us to yearn for Christ in our lives.  A time of thought, a time of wait and reflection.  Let us then reflect, that perhaps now this Christmas.  Instead of finding a nicely wrapped Christmas present under the tree. Instead of giving to an organization that will probably use your funds unwisely.  Perhaps, you let God into your heart.  Perhaps this holiday you take down one - or more - of your Facebook shares that continues to "other" people.  Perhaps we open our hearts to the others around us, letting in love and grace.  Perhaps this holiday we find real compassion in our hearts and live not so that the Devil has a name but so that all may truly know the name of our Savior - Christ Jesus.