The story takes up all of Genesis 1 and spills over to the next chapter until “by the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work” (Genesis 2:2).
God had finished the work.
I have long thought (and taught) that one of the reasons for rest and Sabbath-keeping is to recognize that all of our work belongs to God, that not everything depends on me. I can deliberately stop working because I know that God is at work.
But reflecting on this text again adds a new dimension of the Sabbath for me. God rested on the seventh day because the work of the other six days was finished.
That helps to explain why I always like to put away my sermon notes and organize my office before I leave the church on Sundays. Yes, I might still join church members for lunch, or make hospital visits that afternoon, I might send some emails or read church materials or see someone in the evening—after all, my “day off” isn’t actually until Monday. But finishing the office part of my work has become a significant point of transition.
Closing the door means that my work is finished. I can leave it behind and rest.
Your Turn: What helps you to rest from your work?
Categories: Spiritual Practice