Read Genesis 2:1-3
Built into all Creation and Redemption is the centrality of rest. A 7th day is not a day off, a wasted day, or simply a break. It is part of the design. Nothing works without rest. Rest is to be seen as nothing less than holy. This is no mere pit stop. What becomes the 4th commandment, coupled with the 10th about coveting, provides us – in our breaking of them – with the explanation of how we acquire so many ills and sins. God commands you and I to rest. Not suggests, commands. (Some argue otherwise regarding Christians, I know.) In Hebrews, salvation itself is described as Sabbath rest. This rest we’re called to is more than just a chance to recharge and get back in the race; it is more important than the race. It is above the race. Arguments about when and how to observe the Sabbath cloud the issue sometimes and foster division rather than obedience. Setting these aside, we remain in need of Sabbath. We don’t function as God intended us to, if we don’t live as He intended us to. Rest, in our day, is elusive. Many people live without it entirely. We invite devises and diversions to invade our peace and replace it. Modern life is a restless life. Modern Christianity is, as well, a restless Christianity. Rest is frowned upon and discarded. We know better than God on how to live for God, right? Of course we do! Let’s get busy! Let’s do more! No time to rest now, we have so much to do! And it’s all so very important!
Hmm. Makes me wonder what life with some sort of Sabbath rest, some sort of day of stopping for holiness’ sake, would be like. What if whole groups of us practiced it… and without getting weirdly legalistic about it, like we so often do? Predictably, Christian communities tend to turn rest into a work to earn favor with God. Well, what if we didn’t? What if we just rested in Him like He says to? Rest. It sounds so beautiful, doesn’t it? It is part of what Christ purchased back for us through His death on the Cross. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you…”