By Mother Rebecca

The Easter lilies have dropped their blooms. The tongues of fire that marked Pentecost last week are smoldering in our memories. The mystery of one God in three persons, ever dancing together in a circle of divine love, will greet us this weekend. Summertime is upon us.

This Monday’s headline erased any doubts: “Texas power use to hit record as temperatures soar.”[1]

It’s difficult to welcome those soaring temperatures, but I welcome summertime each year with a sigh of relief that echoes all the way back to childhood. As a parent, the arrival of summer signals the end of the school year and brings leisurely mornings. No longer responsible for waking, feeding, and shuttling a household out the door, I rise later, sip a second cup of coffee, and linger over lections in Morning Prayer.

Summertime creates space in our lives. We plan vacations, pilgrimages, and sabbaticals during this season. We fire up our grills and smokers and open our homes to family, friends, and neighbors. We soak away the hustle and bustle of the rest of the year in swimming pools, water parks, and local lakes. Yes, something about this season, more than any other, reconnects us with one of God’s most disregarded commandments – the commandment to rest.

Years ago, I read Wayne Muller’s book Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight in Our Busy Lives. I will never forget the opening passage of his excellent book. He writes:

In the relentless busyness of modern life, we have lost the rhythm between work and rest.

All life requires a rhythm of rest. There is a rhythm in our waking activity and the body’s need for sleep. There is a rhythm in the way day dissolves into night, and night into morning … There is a tidal rhythm, a deep, eternal conversation between the land and the great sea. In our bodies, the heart perceptibly rests after each life-giving beat; the lungs rest between the exhale and the inhale.

We have lost this essential rhythm … Poisoned by [a] hypnotic belief that good things come only through unceasing determination and tireless effort, we can never truly rest. And for want of rest, our lives are in danger.

Summertime creates space in our lives. Space in which we can reconnect with the essential rhythm between work and rest. Rising a little later in the morning can be a spiritual discipline. Sipping a second cup of coffee can be a spiritual discipline. Lingering longer than usual over lections in Morning Prayer most certainly is a spiritual discipline. Inviting others to our tables extends into our daily lives the table fellowship Christ offers us in the Eucharist. Soaking in pools, water parks, and lakes reminds us that Jesus washes away our sins through the water of Baptism. Packing our bags for vacation, pilgrimage, or sabbatical creates the opportunity to use the space of summer to reorient our lives to the one who calls us away from earthly vocations with the words, “Follow me.”

Summertime creates space in our lives. In the weeks ahead, we enter into the season of Ordinary Time. To our ears, the word “ordinary” refers to something less-than-special and thus unworthy of attention, but it hasn’t always carried this connotation. The Latin root of “ordinary” is ordo, meaning order. Ordinary Time refers to the ordered life of the Church – the time when we are neither feasting (as in Christmas and Easter) nor fasting (as in Advent and Lent). The liturgical color for Ordinary Time is green – the color of grass and trees and plants – the color of growth. During Ordinary Time, our lectionary readings nurture our growth as followers of Jesus. Summertime creates space in which our faith can grow. The Lectionary readings this summer will foster that growth, and we can hear them at home or away – in person or online. Wherever we are in the space of summertime, God is growing us.

As I write today, my family is packing. Next week, we will be on vacation. We will rise much later than usual, sip many second cups of coffee, linger over Morning Prayer, share table fellowship with strangers and family alike, and soak our bodies in natural baths heated by the earth’s core. We will worship with you from afar, growing together in the sabbath space of this summertime.

I wonder what the sabbath space of this summertime has in store for you.

See you Sunday,

Mother Rebecca



[1] Reuters from June 6, 2022. Accessible online at

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