Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude. And on the seventh day God finished the work that He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all the work that He had done. So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that He had done in creation. Genesis 2:1-3 (NRSV)
I am a list maker. Most mornings I will take a clean piece of paper, rip it into a strip that I can the fold easily to fit into my pocket, and I’ll make my list of things that need to be done that day. (“Write email devotional” happens to be on the list I made this morning.) Many mornings, something from the previous day’s list will be moved over to the new list. Hopefully it will be higher on the list today, and won’t have to be moved to another list tomorrow.
My lists remind me of all the things that I feel I must “do”. God must have had a huge list during the time of creation. When the world was created from nothing, everything would have appeared on God’s to-do lists: make light and dark – form the stars and the planets – create vegetation for food and shelter – fill the seas, air, and dry land with living creatures – make the human beings. And then God took one day which was to be filled with rest.
On the seventh day God finished the work that God had done, and God rested.
I don’t always get around to putting that on my list, let alone making rest the only thing on a list one day each week. It seems that I have never really appreciated the importance of what God did in establishing a day for rest. But God did just that. In Exodus, we find that this Sabbath, a holy day of rest and worship was crucial to the lives of God’s people. And this is simply a continuation of the plan that began it all. On six days you shall labor, and on the seventh day you shall rest.
God did. (God needed rest.)
Thank You, God for all the work that we are given in this world. And thank You for the invitation to rest from our labor. Guide us each day and each week in the pursuit of hard work and holy rest. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen