Reading from Scripture
Observe the Sabbath and keep it holy. You have six days in which to do your work, but the seventh day is a day of rest dedicated to me. On that day no one is to work---…… In six days I, the Lord, made the earth, the sky, the seas, and everything in them, but on the seventh day I rested. That is why I, the Lord, blessed the Sabbath and made it holy.
To the Israelites Egypt and slavery were synonymous. It reminded them of a time without rest or peace. When they were eventually freed, they were afforded the opportunity of enjoying the order built into creation: six days of work, with an opportunity for rest on the seventh. As God had done. There was an inherent rhythm built into creation for the benefit of mankind. Work was regarded as part of a calling to serve and promote culture. Rest was an opportunity to take a breather.
When God rested on the seventh day it was never meant to be understood as doing nothing. After having completed creation, He occupied Himself in a different way – by taking care of everything He had made. This also benefitted man and gave him the right and privilege to rest from his normal daily routine to focus on something else.
Human wreckages are visible strewn all over society due to the pace that we try and maintain to fit in everything. In many cases people do things to secure a more comfortable and luxurious lifestyle. Ironically, the very same people are often so busy, denying themselves the opportunity of enjoying any of these ‘fruits’!
People have different views on the interpretation of this commandment. To some it does not really matter to which specific day of the week it refers: the seventh day after six days of work constitutes Sabbath to them. Others stick to the Old Testament version of the Sabbath, namely the Saturday. The majority of Christians celebrate the resurrection on the first day of the week, which is Sunday.
Whatever interpretation you have, we owe it to the Lord, to ourselves and to each other to take a break, to rest – physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Allow yourself a breather.
Dear Lord, help me organise my life to allow myself some rest, having done my work. Amen.