Friday, 7 September 2007


Having just written a post on work, I also thought it would be good to think a bit about rest as well. As we know, rest is a big Bible theme - it is an image of salvation and the future with God. A few thoughts about rest.

1. Resting requires faith. Work can easily be an expression of my need to control and anxiety that everything will fall apart without me. I think this is a big part of the workaholic lifestyle. Rest, on the other hand, depends upon God and know that He is in charge. Sleep is a gift from Him and a reminder of my fragility and dependence upon Him. The Sabbath was a way of reminding Israel that the Lord is the provider of all things, not their work.

2. We don't need just recreational rest, but the deep rest Jesus brings. Everyone knows that simply doing nothing is not necessarily restful. Your mind can still be a blur, my internal processes can still be churning away. This is dealt with by Jesus when I realize that He brings rest from all these things - the results of work are in His hands, He brings salvation etc.

3. Work and rest need each other. Work without rest becomes legalism, rest without work becomes meaninglessness. I have no reason to think that we will be unemployed in the new creation, but it will also be a place without 'thistles and thorns' governed by a deep Sabbath.