Archive for March 21, 2021

A Day of Rest

Posted: March 21, 2021 in Uncategorized

It’s Sunday. For most of the Christian world, this day has taken on the role of Sabbath. Largely this is because Sunday is the day Jesus rose from the dead and so the first day of the week replaced the seventh for much of christendom. For most of us this is our day of Sabbath rest—a day to worship the Lord, focus on Him, a day to reenergize and recharge. Now of course, some of this varies a bit.

Take me for example. I’m a pastor. Sunday for me is the day when I do the most public part of my job. It’s the day I lead my congregation into worship, the day I preach and teach. I know you may not believe this, but it is more physically demanding than you might think. It is not unusual for me to sleep in the afternoon after a morning of preaching. This could hardly be called a day of rest of me and I am okay with that. I feel like I am amazingly blessed to be able to do what I do. Still part of this means I need to find another way to take a day of rest. It’s not legalism, it’s a necessity.

This brings about a gray area for those of us who are creative and involved in the arts. What we do is what we love. Is creating on the Sabbath the same as working when the thing we do brings us great joy? Is it really working if it helps us to connect with our Creator? I’m going to offer an opinion today for what it’s worth. Jesus said the Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath. Clearly he was okay with people doing good on the Sabbath, and yet it was His decision to heal on the Sabbath, that brought on a lot of His conflict with the Pharisees. Clearly I don’t want to be pharisaical about the Sabbath, but there is something to be considered.

When God instituted the Sabbath in the Old Testament, the penalty for violating the Sabbath was death. At first glance that seems really harsh, but look a little deeper. Our Creator took a break from creating the Universe. Likewise His call on us to rest, is at least in part due to the idea that we also need to rest. Further Sabbath rest is designed to show us we can take a break and depend fully on God in everything. He is showing us the weight of the world really isn’t on our shoulders and that He is God and we are not. He knew if we were not required to take a break, we would likely work ourselves into an early grave, largely driven by greed or that we would forget Him altogether.

Our creative gifts are given by God and so is our drive to create and our delight in creating. Still if we push ourselves to create relentlessly, sooner or later that delight will likely wain. We might even burn ourselves out and we’ll likely fall into destructive patterns. Take it from one who knows. There was a time where I was so driven to make something of myself as an artist that I put almost everything in life onto the back burner, including God. Seasons of burnout will not bring out our best work, and if the drive to create becomes all about us, will God receive the glory He so richly deserves. I think that is highly unlikely.

Create for the glory of God and for the joy of creating, but remember if the Creator of the Universe took a break from creating, there’s a better than even chance that you definitely will need to take a weekly break. So take a day and rejuvenate. Take a day to worship. Take a day to spend time in the presence of the One who is the source of creativity. Let Him recharge you and inspire you. He is faithful.

Take a day of rest. I think I will too.