Tuesdays in Wightman Chapel: A Weekly Sabbath Break

By Joyce D. Sohl

The fourth commandment given to Moses by God commanded the Hebrew people to “remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy” followed by the injunction to work six days and rest on the seventh. As the pace of our society and the world has continued to increase the concept of resting for a whole day is forgotten by many people. For many “resting” has become a luxury, something that doesn’t happen because of busyness and “too much to do.”

Sabbath (and it can be any day of the week) is a gift from God that allows for rest, renewal, worship, time with family and friends, and a time to enjoy the sacredness of life. A full day without work might involve a picnic with family, watching the children or grandchildren at play, reading, walking, observing God’s presence in nature, or simply sitting.

Some people take “Sabbath-breaks” each day of fifteen minutes or an hour in order to spend time in attentiveness to God’s spirit within them. Such daily “Sabbaths” reminds one of God’s presence, nurture, and allows one to catch one’s breath and turn over worries and concerns to God.

Here at Scarritt Bennett Center we provide a half-hour worship service at 12:30 on each Tuesday in Wightman Chapel. The purpose of the service is a mid-week “Sabbath-break.” It is a time of sitting in the chapel in the opening silence, listening to the organ or piano call us to worship, sharing scripture, hymns and prayer, and hearing the Word proclaimed through a local pastor or laypersons. Come and take a “Sabbath-break” in the midst of your work, school and other activities. Sabbath is both a state of mind and a way of life. It involves rhythms of work and rest, renewal and rebirth. It is indeed God’s gift to each of us for the healing of body and soul.

Joyce D. Sohl has been Laywoman-in-Residence since 2009 as a full-time volunteer. She retired as CEO of United Methodist Women in 2004. She is the author of 4 books, teacher, retreat leader, writer and non-professional musician. Here at the Center her work is in the area of Spirituality & the Arts with such programs as Tuesdays in the Chapel, Vespers & All That Jazz, Poet’s Corner, and quarterly retreats and art exhibits.