“We are called to begin our weeks at rest by receiving the gift of the Sabbath. When we honor this invitation, we work from a place of rest, rather than desperately need to rest from our work.”- Ken Shigematsu (emphasis author’s)
“In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat — for he grants sleep to those he loves.”- Psalm 127: 2 (NIV)
As Ken Shigematsu continues Chapter 5 of Survival Guide for the Soul, he observes that, from a Hebrew perspective, we begin our day in rest. Because the Hebrew day begins at sunset. And in Genesis 1, after each day of creation, we read the words and there was evening and morning.
Therefore, this formative practice reminds us that we being our days at rest. And while we rest, God works. Also, in Scripture God bestows great gifts on people while they sleep. In addition, since God never sleeps, that means we can rest.
However, when we know we’re called to our work, we find it impossible to take a day off. Thus, Ken explains the consequences:
“The Sabbath decree reminds us that this storyline of striving is not written by God, but one we’re telling ourselves. . . . we will be perpetually enslaved to the god of work, which will make us bitter. Though we may keep busy and get a lot of work done, we won’t bear lasting fruit. But when we keep the Sabbath holy, we trust God to align our priorities and give us the grace and strength to work hard and tend to what is necessary for six days. We then rest for one, receiving everything as a gift.”
In conclusion, Ken points out that it’s really possible for Striving Adam and Soulful Adam to exist in harmony. For the Sabbath commandment calls us to both work and rest.
Today’s question: What Bible verses most help us to begin our weeks at rest? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Embrace what gives life – Sabbath rest”