Flourish: Defining the Church's Role in Creation

Day 1 of 6 • This day’s reading

Devotional

The Holy Day


Genesis starts with the story of creation: the creation of the universe, then the animals, and lastly the first man and woman. For five days, God spoke into formation the world and everything that filled it. On the sixth day, God created the land animals and breathed life into the first people to inhabit His creation. On the seventh day ― the first full day that humans resided on the earth ― God rested. So, we are to understand that by His intentional design, humans were made foremost to rest, then to work. 


“Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.” This commandment, given under the old covenant,  is largely ignored today. As Christians, we are under the new covenant, however, this doesn’t lessen the importance of His commandments; God still prefers that we take no other idols, that we don’t covet our neighbors, and that we do not commit atrocities. All in all, it’s probably safe to say, He still desires that we follow his intentional design of rest. 


Resting as an order


God commanded his people to rest. Why is it that we hold fast to all of his other commands, yet we disregard this one, especially when it so benefits us? 


God modeled for us how he wanted us to take the Sabbath. Rest then work. Jesus, God on earth, exemplified rest. He retreated all the time to be alone with the Father, seeking a place of quiet in which he could devote himself to communing with his Abba. Should we not do likewise?


The Impacts of Sabbath


One of the best things about taking time each week to give yourself a break is the clarity that it brings. So many responsibilities fill our working days ― deadlines, bills, engagements. Sabbath is what allows time for the dust to settle. 


God wants us to have clarity. Carving out space to rest is essential to our flourishing. To do this, it is crucial to set boundaries. There will always be something that requires your time. You have to protect it. 


We were not built to function at a 24/7 pace. There is pressure in our culture to keep moving and doing. In God’s kingdom it isn’t this way. The kingdom calls for rest and reflection, otherwise, there is no room for God to give insight. Being still allows you to hear the Lord’s voice. 


Sabbath and sanctity


It just so happened that after the crucifixion, the angel revealed to the Marys that Jesus had risen at the end of the Sabbath day


Think about how wonderfully symbolic that is; here, we see the promise of resurrected life on the only day of the week intended to commune with God. 


Going forward, we must not disregard the holiness of God by failing to observe the Sabbath. We must remember it and maintain it as the sacred time when God comes near and fills us with abundant life promised to us only through His Son. 


REFLECT:


“A world without a Sabbath would be like a man without a smile, like summer without flowers, and like a homestead without a garden. It is the most joyous day of the week.” 


- Henry Ward Beecher


ACTION:


Choose a day of the week and be intentional about keeping it free. Carve out time - at least a few hours - to do nothing but rest. Protect that time against distractions, chores, and obligations. Use this space to let yourself...just be.