What does the Lord require but to act justly, to do mercy, and to walk humbly with your god? Micah 6:8
It’s Monday. The day after Sunday. The day when many, maybe even most, but not all, return to work and/or school. Put me in the “not all” category. Monday is my day off, my Sabbath, my day of rest. When I go out into the world on a Monday, and someone asks, “how was your weekend?” my reply is often, “don’t ask unless you really want to know.” And then I’ll politely add, “how was yours?”
I’m a minister. I spend my Sundays facilitating an experience of Sabbath. It’s my vocation, what I feel called to do. Sunday is my favorite day of the week. Truly. On Sunday, all the people who gather together for a shared experience of something transcendent open my heart. Together, we experience what it means to be part of something larger than our individual lives. What could be better?
Come Monday, there’s a soundtrack that runs through my head. “No one knows what it’s like to be the bad man, the sad man, behind blue eyes.” I’m tired (a good tired) and out of synch with the rest of the world. I know I’m dating myself here, with a reference to the rock band, The Who, and their gender specific language. Yet, changing the word “man” to “woman” or “person” destroys the rhythm and poetry of the piece. I trust you all to do the gender translation.
I have one rule for my Sabbath day. I break the rule far more often than I like to admit. My one rule is to do only what I want, at least after I’ve taken care of the necessities of eating and doing laundry. (As an aside, I think my congregation appreciates it when I wear clothes that don’t have the stench of last week’s perspiration.)
It’s Monday, my Sabbath, my day to set work aside. Work is so ill defined these days. What’s work for one may be leisure for another. Sabbath is a day to set aside the requirements of the work-a-day world, and ask the age-old question of the prophet Micah: “what does the Lord require but to act justly, to do mercy, and to walk humbly with your god?”
It’s Monday. Fragments of Sunday still run through my head. Precious pastoral encounters.
“I fell. I couldn’t get up until a friend arrived to help.”
“My doctor told me I had a ‘silent’ heart attack. Pray for me, please.”
“I’m here with a visiting delegation of UU’s from around the country, come to learn about how immigration issues manifest on the border between Arizona and Mexico.”
“I’m a candidate for UU ministry and would love to do my internship in your congregation.”
“What does palliative care mean? My friend is in hospice and I want to do right by him.”
“I’m unhappy and troubled by the way you handled a portion of today’s service.”
“Thank you for connecting me with another UU living in my retirement community,”
“I failed to do what I said I would. I’m sorry.”
“There’s someone in the parking lot looking into cars and trying to open them. Should we call the police?”
“Things were taken from my car. What should I do?”
It’s Monday. I feel connected to the congregation I serve and more than a little protective. The high notes of Sunday’s choral anthem still sing in my heart. The depth of silent meditation still comforts my soul. The sight of beautiful faces that make the beloved community still imprints a vision of hope and interconnection upon my mind.
It’s Monday. Newsletter deadline day. My Sabbath. What I want to do is share with you the reality of my experience, giving you a glimpse behind my blue eyes. And so, I write something resembling a newsletter column/blog post.
It’s Monday as I write, though you may be reading this on another day. The rhythm of life is different for each of us. May we seek to understand the myriad of ways we respond to the call to act justly, do mercy, and walk humbly upon this earth.