Good morning, Bringer of the Sabbath, I've been waiting for you a long time, especially for this particular morning with the first wave of crisp fall air pouring in through the kitchen window, John Owen on for devotion, a warm cup of tea to hold, and several weeks of intense perseverance behind me. You offer momentary respite, a brief refuge from the chaos of life if - and only if - I will choose to be still and know you are God in this moment and in all moments.
The chill in your air reminds me that I am entering middle age with its unique challenges of grief and loss. I am not ignorant of death, whose approach lies closer with each coming fall, perhaps closer than even I am aware, but it has been many years since that knowledge has caused me fear, and now I only pray for strength to complete the journey, however long it may be, with grace.
The sunlight reminds me of your enduring faithfulness to your beloved. New mercies spill over into the day, and I am reminded to throw off last week's failures - the unkind thoughts and words, the petty selfishness, and many other transgressions so varied they are impossible to number - and run with perseverance the race ahead of me.
The warm cup of tea, with its aromas of mangoes and honey reminds me of your lavish provision, completely unmerited, and I am humbled that such gifts would be given to a sinner like me. The presence of such luxuries makes me profoundly aware of evil's intent to destroy all that is beautiful and good in the world, and for a moment I am scared until I realize that your hands hold everything in existence, and you have already crushed death under your heel. Yet my heart still breaks for those here who have great need of your hand to defend and uphold them, and though I am comforted, I still cry out, "Come, Abba!"
Shalom, Bringer of the Sabbath, both hello and farewell. I come to this place - a particular, unique point in time and space - and yet must continue on in both, though I would happily rest here for eternity. Yet endurance has given birth to hope, and I know by your gracious spirit that there exists a better place of rest for those who persevere, so let me carry this brief sabbath in my heart as a reminder of a more glorious one to come.