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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We've looked at two extreme approaches to work: work to get it over with, and work as our ultimate goal.
Both extremes are sandy foundations for life. They wash away when the rains come, parliament changes the retirement age, or markets crash and change our industry forever.
Work reveals our foundations in life – what our ultimate goal or purpose is. Sometimes this can lead to our downfall. For example, in Japanese culture they so highly valued an ideal of never laying off workers, that many companies collapsed completely during a difficult recession. Closer to home, we can see how cost-savings at the Elliot Lake Mall, or the railway through Lac-Megantic, can seem to pay off for a while, then come crashing down with deaths, lawsuits and financial ruin to follow.
We should choose the foundation of our working lives carefully - it will eventually be revealed!
CHALLENGE: Write down a goal in your life. Make two columns underneath, writing in what will help you get there, and what could stop you. Now circle the ones that are entirely in control. What does this tell you about the foundations for your work in life – are they your’s, or God’s?
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.