This week’s topic is that we need rest. We probably already know this is a physical and emotional reality, but it may surprise us to know God rests, and says we need it too. In fact, he commands rest in the first book of the Bible after God created the universe.
And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation. (Genesis 2:2-3 ESV)
A few weeks ago, we saw that God worked, and that we were created to work with him. Now we see God rested. We are also created to rest with him…and share that rest with others.
To help, God gave a rhythm for rest and work. Six days of work, and one day of rest. It’s not equal, as work still outweighs rest. But it’s rhythmic and balances our need for creation and recreation.
God’s rest is the model for our rest. What is God’s rest like?
First, He stops creating. Producing, accumulating, moving, operating.
Clearly his work of sustaining continued – the earth kept spinning and the plants keep growing. But his work of creating takes a pause.
Secondly, he was satisfied with his work. It’s finished. Some things are complete, good, and need to ripen.
We can see these kinds of rest in us today – we need to kick our feet up and stop creating, and we also need to rest by enjoying and appreciating things like nature, art, music and more.
We’ll look in future weeks at how that looks in our context. But we won’t be suggesting this is about a particular day or practice that creates God’s favour and blessing in our lives. It’s about God having created us, knowing what we need, and giving it to us as a gift, if only we’d take it.
Question: What kind of creating do you do? It’s not just artists – people create order, learning, art, ideas, value, research, roads, buildings and more. What do you create?
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What looks like bad work to you? It can be a very personal thing - I was surprised when I told people about leading Redeem the Commute, and they said, "I’m glad someone is doing it, but especially glad it’s not me."
I watched a TV show lately about a tow truck driver – it showed him going about his work in the middle of the night, doing a job many wouldn't want. But he said he'd tried multiple jobs, hated them all – and then found the towing business and it just fit. He'd found his passion for work, even though other people would hate it working those late nights, alone, at risk and dealing with mechanical work.
There are definitely bad jobs out there – some are really awful, which became apparent with media coverage, for example, of the textile industry in Bangladesh.
Some jobs aren't terrible themselves, they are just a bad fit.
And there are some good jobs that we see in the wrong light - something about us means they are less than they should be. We might think they’ll be much more than they are, or we might think too highly of ourselves to do certain kinds of work, even though they are good.
Question: What’s the worst job you ever had? What made it so bad? Was it bad for everyone, or just you?
Just in time for summer's blend of work and rest, Redeem the Commute is starting a new series of daily challenges to help busy people restore life to the commuting lifestyle. This seven week series will look at the meaning and purpose of work, rest, and ancient practices that have helped followers of Jesus to keep the two in perspective and balance for centuries.