August 2018 

Sabbath and Rest

“On the sixth day God completed all the work that he had done, and on the seventh day God rested from all the work that God had done. God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all the work of creation.” (Genesis 2:2-3)

Have you ever thought about what it means to rest? Does it just mean to sleep, have a nap, or take a day off? And what did it mean that God rested from creating the world?

I really like the way the New English Bible says that on the seventh day God “completed” all the work that God had done. Many translations of the bible read “finished”, but some scholars say that this meant more than God was merely done with the work. For them, the resting “made the creating complete”. In other words, the rest was connected to the creation.

How was it connected? It was connected in that it was reflection upon the creation and an opportunity to enjoy the creation.

First, it was a way to reflect that God had created everything and that we would gather as God’s people and celebrate it! In time, we would call this gathering, “worship”, for God intended it to be “holy”, or in the thinking of the Greeks, “to be set apart”, from all other activities in our lives. As we “reflected” upon creation, we offered our praise to God, we heard the scripture and talked about its meaning for our lives, we responded to the Word with gifts and decisions to change our lives, and were sent forth with a blessing to serve God out in the creation again. These are all things we do in worship.

But second, it was also a day to enjoy creation. The implication of enjoying is that we would not produce, but interact with creation in a responsible, but “playful” way. Thus, we read for enjoyment, go for a run or walk, and take up hobbies that refresh and “re-create” us.

So, how do you observe the Sabbath? When do you make time for reflection upon your life? And not just on Sunday, but every day of the week. Do you also find time to stop and enjoy the life God gave you? Both of these things are a way to develop a healthy spirit and have a fruitful life.

Yes, we live in a 24-7 world and sometimes it is hard to find sabbath and rest, but when we choose to live above the world, we find life as God intended, from the very beginning. I hope that rest and sabbath will always be a part of your lives.

In Christ’s footsteps we walk,

Pastor Roger