Saturday, September 16, 2006

Rest

Genesis 2:2-3 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society
2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3 And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.

"Rest;" what a significant word for those of us who are so "rest-less." It is so hard for us to imagine a time empty of anything but "rest." We mess it up, twist it around in our heads, making what really is a gift, into a list of things we shouldn't do.

Imagine if we experienced Sabbath as a 24 hour retreat sometimes. It sounds almost unbelievably indulgent; but why not? The Hebrew word used in Strongs Concordance,(7673) implies, "to repose, i.e. desist from exertion, to cease, to celebrate; still."

I wonder if resting on the seventh day is what makes it holy. I am laughing to myself as I think of how, if there is any space at all in that day, we fill it up with leisure "activities!" I just realized how funny that is and how mutually exclusive those words might be.

Dear Father, please forgive us for "missing it," thank you for giving us 24 hours each week to be Sabbath; rest. Thinking about it makes me long for it as you intended it. I can't help but think that in this frenetic world, if your people truly demonstrated "rest," it would be a wonderful thing. Please teach us to rest as you intended. I'm afraid it seems an elusive gift on a weekend full of many things to "do." Please help me to capture it - sacred, holy, quiet, peaceful, still - Sabbath!

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