As we’ve been teaching and preaching the stories of creation in worship, I’ve been reflecting on the cycle of work and rest.
In the creation story we find in Genesis 1, God clearly gives us an example of working for 6 days to make everything in the heavens and the earth and then resting on day 7. But, there are also times of rest at the end of each day of work. The poetic language of Genesis 1 says it this way, “There was evening and there was morning; the sixth day.”
This emphasis on a balance between work and rest has me thinking about my own life. When do I work? When do I rest? How do I determine what is work and what is rest? Why is it important for me to do both?
Christians have traditionally observed the “Sabbath” or a day of rest on Sunday. However, in our culture, time is always full and busy. If you are going to have time to rest, you are the one who must make it a priority—the culture is not going to do it for you. In addition, in this day of electricity and technology, life doesn’t stop at sundown. Instead, we turn on the lights, the TV, or the computer and we can continue working late into the night.
As I consider the current political climate, the changes in health care, and the government shut-down which impacts government employees and their families as well many who receive government services, I wonder what we can learn from the way God shows us how to work and how to rest.
There is certainly a lot of work to be done—at our paid jobs, in our homes, in our church, in our communities, in our governments. And it is vital that we give the very best of ourselves to these works. But, it is equally important to rest each day and each week so that our souls are refreshed, our ideas are sharp, and our courage is strong when we return to work.
So, find some time to work this week; and find some time to rest this week.
See you in worship!