Words from the Heart for Sunday June 5th, 2016
By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.
Genesis 2:2-3 (NIV)
The Seventh Day
When God rests, it is not because He is tired. Rather, He rests to enjoy and delight in all that He has made. Today, rest from your work and delight in the fruits of your labour.
When Canada was acquired by Great Britain in 1763, English laws prohibiting work and entertainment on Sunday came into effect in the new colony. In 1845 the province of Canada passed its own law forbidding anyone in Upper Canada “”to do or exercise any worldly labour, business or work of one’s ordinary calling””, except for certain works of necessity or charity. At Confederation, when the BNA Act created Canada’s two-tier legislative constitution (federal and provincial), Sunday closing laws came under provincial jurisdiction. A quiet Sunday was the social custom in Protestant Canada. Roman Catholics were mellower about it. If water had to be drawn or potatoes peeled for Sunday dinner, many made sure to do it on Saturday evening. Laundry was not hung out to dry on Sundays. A great many Canadians spent the rest of the Sunday reading religious books or periodicals.
Men and women get worn out. Some even burn out. Unlike our creator God, we do not have unlimited and inexhaustible resources within ourselves. Illness, aging, and stress leads to lack of sleep and lack of sleep leads to all sorts of problems. Time after time the Bible tells us to slow down, get rest, renew and relax. And Jesus, in His full humanity, exemplified this counsel – He found the balance between teaching, serving and getting away from it all, in a boat, or on a mountain, or in a wilderness. This wasn’t the first time that the Lord had rested and the first time, it was in His full deity at the end of His creating. Genesis 2:2-3 says “By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.” In this case, God didn’t need to rest. His power is unlimited and His abilities are without end. So why did He take a day off? Because He was teaching us a very important lesson. He knows us well and loves us enough to command us to rest. The command wouldn’t come until Mt Sinai. But the example was set on day seven of creation. Take time to rest, relax and renew. God knows it’s what you need.
These have been words from the heart.