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Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Meaning of Sabbath Rest (Part 1)

There are three principles that bring meaning to this concept of sabbath rest according to Gordon MacDonald in his book "Ordering Your Private World (OYPW)." The first he calls Closing the Loop implying that the task is completed.

""When God rested, He looked upon His work, enjoyed its completed appearance, and then reflected on its meaning: "And God saw that it was good" (Gen 1:10) This shows the first of the three principles of genuine rest. God gave His work meaning and acknowledged its completion. In doing so he taught us there is a necessary exercise of appreciation and dedication for our routines.

So you could say that on the seventh day, God closed the loop on His primary creation activity. He closed it by resting and looking back upon it to survey what has been accomplished.

This rest is then first of all, a time of looking backward... We gaze upon our work and ask questions like: What does my work mean? For whom did I do this work? How well was the work done? Why did I do this? What results did I expect, and did I receive?

To put it anther way, the rest God instituted was meant first and foremost to cause us to interpret our work, to press meaning into it to make sure we know to whom it is properly dedicated." (OYPW, pg 173.)
Today as I grow in making sabbath rest a real rhythm in my life, I am focusing on this first meaning of sabbath rest. The other two are according to MacDonald, "Returning to Eternal Truths" and "Defining our Mission".

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