Sabbath’s Slack Time

(Mark 6:31-32)

There she is untethered – ancient, foot-stepped moon,
two hundred forty thousand miles away
from distant, tiny speck of earth, rounded
like yellow rounds of farmer’s cheese.

What has this lesser light of jocund night
to do with God’s footstool earth below?
Tides, they say, changing tides –
low tide and high tide in oceans blue.

But, alas, there is more
between this unceasing pull of down and up of swelling tides.
Slack tide, they say, unstressed slack tide.
Three tides, one moon, one earth, mighty oceans.

And One Creator, too,
who dids’t call all aloud of formless chaos.
Incomparable Omnipotent, Risen Son, hovering Spirit Holy,
The Almighty Trinity of total tides!

The One above all ones
who daily cares for each our rest-starved tides
when we come unstressed, limp, sponge-like in receiving mode,
probing to find rest, Creation’s Sabbath gift.

Like two by two, meal-empty, anxious disciples
reluctantly from work enter the ark of calm.
“Come aside,” he chides. “ I want your rest.
My moon, my work, my creation, need your living soul afresh!”  Ah….


  • Rev. Leo S. Thorne is an ordained American Baptist clergy and recently retired as Associate General Secretary for Mission Resource Development. He was also a tenured Professor of English at New Jersey's Fairleigh Dickinson University and is editor of Prayers from Riverside (Pilgrim Press).

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