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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So far this week, we’ve looked at rhythms for rest, but what should one actually do with that time? One author, Tim Keller, has suggested two main categories of rest.
1) Doing nothing at all. Kick your feet up.
2) Do something different from your usual work.
If you work in a bank, volunteering to help launch our church is a form of rest. But if you work in a church, then it isn't rest...but doing the books for your favourite charity could be.
If you’re a fisherman, then fishing isn’t rest. But if you’re a videographer, it is.
If you’re a landscaper, then cutting the grass at home isn’t rest. But for many people, it’s therapeutic!
Not sure what that might look like?
It could be contemplative – spend some time praying, reading something spiritually focused, watching a sunrise.
It could be recreational - playing soccer, rock climbing, hitting the beach, learning a new skill, reading something just for fun.
It could be aesthetic - going to an art gallery, climbing the CN tower to look over the city, watching an outdoor movie like we're hosting this September.
Rest is going to vary depending on your work and your personality.
For me - rest is reading, or outdoors. Hiking, rock climbing, camping, all use muscles, parts of my brain and energies that writing these challenges and standing here in front of a camera talking to you does not!
Question: List your favourite way to find rest in each of these categories:
Then put down when you'll plan to do that next.
We meet for coffee this Wednesday night at Starbucks in the Chapters Store in Ajax, in Durham Region just East of Toronto. Maybe we'll see you there?
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.