Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Pastor Jay Forseth

Journeys in Faith

A Sabbatical rest

It has been my honor to write these monthly articles. Thank you for reading them! It is heartwarming to hear from folks who want to talk about what was written. I certainly understand I am not a pro writer, but your grace with this author has been greatly appreciated.
This will be my last article for a season. I have been granted a sabbatical rest this fall by my church leaders. Every seven years we serve we are granted a month long sabbatical. Because this will be my 14th year in Columbus, I will take a two-month time away to recharge and then go to Israel to walk where Jesus walked.
Seven is an interesting number because on the seventh day, God rested from all his work. He took a Sabbath, and then granted us the gift of Sabbath every seventh day as well. In the Old Testament, the land was granted rest every seventh year. Scripture goes on to say this practice made the crop three times more productive the other six years.
Even after a cycle of seven years times seven (49 years total), God granted the people “the year of jubilee” to bring families back together with their original land and also set hired slaves free. Wonderful!
I sometimes lament for my family that I have worked nearly every holiday week-end for the past 14 years. Please let me speak for myself and most pastors: When most families are resting, like at Christmas and Easter, your pastor is working at peak performance.
Not to forget, weddings are usually performed on holiday week-ends like Memorial Day, July 4, New Years Eve, Labor Day, etc. Oh yeah, we also work every Sunday, the day of rest (grin). I know we don’t work farmer’s hours, but I also understand the expectations and commitment on pastors’ families as far as evenings and Saturdays are concerned.
For those of you who think your pastor works one hour a week, tell that to all the families who I have done funerals for, visited in the hospital/nursing home, and supported through emergencies of all kinds – think divorce, mental illness, suicide watch, family breakdowns, etc. Basically being on call 24-7 tends to wear a person out, so hopefully you can see that your pastor/priest may need some rest, too.
Thank you again for reading these articles. Until I return from my Sabbatical, I leave you with some of my favorite words, “Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”