Friday, the last day of August (August 31), is “National Eat Outdoors Day,” offering us a reason to dine in the fresh outdoor air. Summer days will soon be but a memory as fall colors begin to appear, announcing snow is on its way.
Celebrate on Friday by packing a picnic lunch or supper and head to the back yard or to a nearby park with family and friends. Celebrations bind us with those we love, with family, friends and community; rituals nurture relationships and give us a sense of belonging.
If you need incentives to get you outside on Friday, the authors of the “Food Matters” blog offer these six: nature can boost one’s immune system; nature can provide a natural dose of vitamin D; nature can ease depression; eating outside can make one more mindful of food, self and others; eating outside can provide a break from the computer; and eating outside will include exercise.
Celebrations are most often calendar events such as Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, birthdays, graduations and anniversaries. Celebrations emphasize our identity or our accomplishments and inspire subsequent achievements. Honoring commitments and celebrations energize a sense of purpose.
Every Sunday, Christians the world over pause from weekly tasks to celebrate the Eucharist. The Eucharistic weekly celebrations are a time when the ordinary becomes sacred, ordinary bread and wine become for Christians the real presence of Christ in their midst. Eucharistic celebrations are God’s grace binding together otherwise disparate people, each unique, yet all enjoying one another’s differences, all beloved by God. The Eucharistic celebration is redemption, with confession and forgiveness offering a second chance. The Eucharistic celebration is mystery, a mystery beyond adequate explanation or understanding, divine presence here and now. The Eucharistic celebration proclaims belief in an eventual triumphant and gracious heavenly reckoning.
In Biblical times, the Third Commandment declared six days of work each week to be enough. Israel was to rest one day every week. While nearby nations continued building armaments and training soldiers day after day, ancient Israel’s faith in God promised neither economic collapse nor military defeat would come if one day each week was given to rest and idleness.
Enjoy a picnic on Friday and see you in Church on Sunday. Sunday Eucharistic celebration “bind(s) us together with cords that cannot be broken.” (Bob Gilman)