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.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Being Open to Christ

In Luke 4 beginning at 14 and ending with verse 30 we hear the story of how Jesus was rejected from Nazareth his home town.  We understand this passage, rightly so, as a reminder that Jesus could not be accepted by those who knew him, who watched him grow up and in turn who turned against him - attempting to end his life here in this moment.  And yet Jesus not only survives, he preforms a miracle in front of them that they all witness but none see.

For any who know my husband they know his ability to be looking for something and simple not see it.  He is always asking him "where is ______" only for me to tell him that it is right in front of him, or perhaps even on him.  No this isn't old age, he isn't there yet, it is simple your brains inability to "see" something you are striving really hard to find.  Psychology even has a term for this and my husband should be picture in the dictionary for he is truly skilled at this.

I digressed to this because our passage from Luke ends with the verse: "But he [Jesus] passed through the midst of them and went on his way."  An angry crowd who was ready to hurt and hurl Jesus off a cliff, a crowd who Jesus grew up in and surly knew his face and what he looked liked - missed Jesus as he walked amongst them for safety.  Jesus was able to disguise himself from them.  As Christ, Jesus uses disguise elsewhere (an example would be the Road to Damascus) to hide his true identity.  In this passage it isn't that Jesus refuses to do miracle or to heal people who need it, but he simple states that it won't work - it isn't that he won't, he can't.  For these people in Nazareth the Jesus that they know isn't the Christ that Jesus has become.  In knowing and accepting the humanity of Jesus they are unable to see the Divine.  In Jesus' ability to simple walk away from the crowd proves his point - they are unable to fully see the all that Christ has to offer!

And this is where we sit today.  Church for many has become old hat, church has become a place where we go to socialize.  Christianity for many simply means meaning a decent person or allowing "Christian" (not even "Christ") ethics to set up your life and decisions.  On the search or hunt for the historical Christ we have fail to see the Christ that live and dwells around us and through us.  We have fail to open ourselves up to the Divine presence and worst we have become like those in Nazareth. 

Let us change that!  Open yourself up to the Spirit of God.  Allow yourself to see Christ anew, to allow yourself to be Redeemed and to allow your Spirit to be an extension of God in the world.  See what Christ can offer your life if you allow your Spirit to be open.  God is here in our world.  The Redeem is walking amongst us and we are serving Jesus in many disguise, don't be like those in this passage today that can't or won't see God.  Don't be afraid of what the true Divinity of Christ can offer you and open your eyes to the Spirit Divine!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

The Spirit Works Within and Through...

...sometimes without us knowing.

That is for sure.  When you are working and living in the world connected to God, it is truly amazing to see and feel how the Spirit may be working within the world and yes, even within you, before anyone realizes.  Recently I met a women whose husband had passed away only a few hours before.  My encounter with this stranger was brief and she stated at least twice how she was a strong woman and that was one thing her husband admired; yet but the end I knew I had to give her a hug.  The push to hug this woman was so powerful, I was overcome by it and further I knew that I would regret it if I did not.  After I hugged this woman she told me that her husband, who had pre-written his obituary, had told people in lieu of flowers give someone a hug.  Yup, that hug was the Spirit moving through me!

Every time we walk into our YMCA there is a greeter, usually these are people with some form of handicap.  One of these greeters is a younger man who has difficultly with speech and so they have a computer generated voice for him and he pressed buttons to talk.  I have noticed many people walking past him without giving him time to greet them, for there is a slight delay.  My children stop wait for him to press his button and say hello.  One day my oldest told him that his "computer voice was cool."  The smile on this young man's face lit up the room, but the best one was when my middle child ask his name.  He told us his name and now when they go in and see him, they remember his name.  This is surely the Spirit working in them to show God's love! 

Once my mom and step-dad were heading to a dog park, completely frustrated with their puppy and beginning to believe that they just "couldn't do it."  It was a difficult conversation on the way to the park.  When they arrived there was a woman there with several of the same bread dogs as theirs - a bread known to be wonderful but needs a dominate owners.  This woman showed them some tricks, gave them advice and encouraged them.  They walked away from that park feeling confident and several years later wouldn't imagine life without that dog.  They are frequent dog-park goers and although that woman helped them that day they have never seen her again.   That was the Spirit moving through that woman.

These might all seem like crazy examples or examples of just "decent people" but I want to point out that our life isn't always full of extreme moments in which we need God.  Our life isn't all about the very low - but mostly life is about the every day.  Life is about the ordinary days that we live striving each day to accomplish what needs to get down.  Life is about the same-day to day unless we open ourselves to the Creator and the beauty around us.  Unless we open ourselves up to see how even in the small details, the Spirit can move and work! 

My middle child, who is my oldest son, told me while painting that my painting "wasn't beautiful" while comparing mine to his sister's whose was "sooo beautiful."  My painting was a realist example while hers was a modern abstract piece.  Mine looked like a bird, hers had all the right "colors" for that bird not all the right lines.  Beauty, especially God's beauty, is found all around us in life.  If we only look for it in the box we have created called "God" then we may miss out on the true beauty of the Spirit that is whirling around us. 

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Our on Baptism on the Baptsim of the Lord Sunday

I wanted to highlight something that is truly an amazing part of my own religion - Presbyterian (PC USA) and why I stay a PC USA Pastor -- baptism. 

You see we have a unique view on Baptism, I say unique because most people when thinking about Baptism think about it in a VERY Roman Catholic way, even when you don't want to.  I can't tell you how many times as a Chaplain I have been called to the bedside of a family who wanted me to Baptism their infant who died in childbirth.  The Presbyterian in me always wants to run screaming "no" you don't have to do this!  But the Pastor in me, and perhaps the parent, understands the need for something to make this child official or at the very least mark this child life no matter how long as meaningful. 

I sort of digress...back to Baptism.  Baptism is not about getting into Heaven - it is not an assurance that one does get into to Heaven and it by all means does not make the Kingdom an exclusive club.  Baptism and the Kingdom are not mutually dependent.  In fact, people can and do receive the glory of Christ without being sprinkled with water!  God works in mysterious and wondrous ways.  God works within and through people, sometimes even without our knowledge, and most certainty knows the ways of our heart.  You can come to know Christ, to love Christ and to inherit the glory without ever being Baptized.  Baptism is a symbol and a recognition of your choice to follow Christ.  It is an outwardly sign of the things that have already taken place on the inside.  It is, also, a pledge to a church body to become a member, or to be raised up in the case of children's baptism.  It is a commitment from that same body to uplift you and nurture your Spirit.  Yes, our sins are washed away - but our sins are washed away through the amazing grace of Forgiveness.  For children that understanding isn't there yet but that doesn't mean the Spirit can't work in and through them. 

Baptism of the Lord Sunday is not a call to remind each of us to live into the Kingdom of God - whenever that may come.  But instead a reminder that we live each day for Christ.  We live in the here and the now - we live into the life that God has granted each of us and through our relationship with the divine we strive each day to spread that and to show others God's love.  Our purpose to living is not to inherit the Kingdom but is instead to live into the life of Christ in our lives - today! 

So begin today...not expecting that you just inherit the Kingdom because you have been Baptized.  Not just with the greed of privilege or expectation but instead live into the Christ, each day striving to be better then the last.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

The Epiphany of the Christ Child

This week we are celebrating Epiphany - what is Epiphany you ask? Well Epiphany is the moment - any moment - when the HOLY is revealed!
However in Church we celebrate a day called Epiphany on January 6th - yup that is right a whole day.  We celebrate this day, the day the wise man, the Magi, arrived at the Christ Child feet and presented presents.  Although we like to put the Magi in our Naivety scene the whole of Advent and we like to count the three Magi we actually don't know how many Magi there were nor what time they actually arrived to meet Jesus.  We do know there were a "few" Magi and we know that there they came when Jesus was a toddler. 

But let's not get stuck on the details.  They came to proclaim and witness the fact that the Holy is revealed to Earth in a baby.  The came to proclaim that indeed the Messiah had been born and that one day all people would be offered salvation.  They came to offer gifts to a child who didn't yet know the world he would come to save.  It was for them a true Epiphany.   They met face to face the divine incarnate.  How truly wonderful.

I had my own "Epiphany" as you will, when I heard God's voice calling me into ministry.  I had never thought about "being" a minister before that moment and it was such a strong voice inside me, I knew I had to listen.  God's voice revealed to be the Divine plan for my life and I was changed.  My own Epiphany has led me here today to stand and know that the Christ Child does save. 

I think it is also very fitting that Epiphany is at the beginning of the New Year.  Just a few days after you have made resolutions, broke them, and promised to be better.  Just a few days after reflecting on the years past has brought insight, and hopefully happiness, to your year ahead.  Just when we need more hope for a great year we celebrate Epiphany - the Holy Revealing!  A perfect time to realize that the gift of Christ on Christmas morning is useless, unless you accept the package.  That it isn't about "taking back" God's gift or using once a year.  Christmas morning is about the birth of Christ, God dwelling amongst us and with us.  God walking with us on this journey so that we may NEVER walk alone.  Surely Jesus now reigns with God in the Kingdom, but through the Spirit we are never alone - our God walks with us.  Let us remember that each and every day. Let us find ways to have Epiphany last for more then a moment ... Today and each day let us see the Holy Revealed to us and find the awesomeness of our God working in our lives!