Both rest and worship must be experienced in fullness in order to retain spiritual and physical health.
By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work. . . . Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it... –Genesis 2:2–3 (nas)
In the creation account of Genesis, God makes the world in six days and then rests on the seventh day. Not only does God rest, but He sanctifies the seventh day of creation for the purpose of recuperating from labor.
If there is anything that plagues modern-day folks, it is chronic fatigue. Seldom do we get enough sleep. And rare is the day when we truly disconnect from work and worry.
A second observation may sound a bit strange coming from a man who spent thirty-five years as a pastor: The church or synagogue often does not respect the mandate to rest on the Sabbath.
For people who have a Judeo-Christian heritage, the Sabbath is not only a time of rest but a day of worship. As a pastor, I would often be up late on Saturday night, finishing my sermon and preparing for worship leadership. I would arrive early at the church on Sunday for the first of multiple services. I often taught a Sunday school class. Then, after lunch, I would attend committee meetings followed by an evening vespers service and Sunday night fellowship. Sunday was the most exhausting day of my week.
There is a need to regain balance on the equal claim of rest and worship on the Sabbath. Both must be experienced in fullness in order to retain spiritual and physical health.
Dear God, help me to know that if You need rest, I must rest too. Amen.
Digging Deeper: Mt 8:24; Mk 6:31
Written by Scott Walker