The Adult Sunday School Class begins at 9:00 a.m. Our Summer Worship Service starts at 10:00 a.m. We will return to 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, September 6th.
“And on the seventh day God finished the work that He had done, and God rested on the seventh day… and hallowed it….” Genesis 2:2-3.
In the creation story, we discover a wonderful rhythm to life - six days of labor and one day of rest. If all we do is rest, we lose our sense of purpose and direction; if all we do is work, then we lose our perspective and creativity. Both extremes damage the image of God in us and harm our spiritual well-being. Even God rested on the seventh day. God rested not out of fatigue, but to stand back and delight in the sheer beauty of all that was made. God rested as if to say there is something more to God than simply what God has done or created. In a similar way, we rest in order to understand that we are more than we do. The theological principle behind this understanding is that we rest from our labors so that God may work in us. There needs to be a balance between rest and work.
Today is officially the first day of summer, bringing to mind thoughts of swimming pools and vacations, golf and tennis, boating and swimming, amusement parks and camp grounds - things we can’t or don’t do other times of the year. The pace of summer is different. It gives us a time to step back from our busy lives and live at a different pace. The days are longer, giving us more time in the evening to break from our hectic schedules that crowd the rest of the year. We have the chance to work in the garden, take a walk, play baseball, enjoy a barbeque or picnic, or go to summer camp. Even a summer job can be a wonderful break from the routine of school.
A couple of years ago I took a week-long course at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary on practices and disciplines that can lead to living a more holy life. We all struggle, clergy included, with balancing the pressures of work and family. There is never enough time to do all that is required or expected of us. How and where do we find our center, our strength? In the course I learned that the phrase ora et labora is Latin for “prayer and work.” It is the motto of the early Benedictine monks who lived a disciplined life of study, work, and prayer. I believe, however, that a case can be made that the ora, prayer, also comes in a balance of operis et quietis, “work and rest.” Rest becomes a spiritual practice that renews us for work. When you think about it, rest is counter-productive to getting everything done on our “To-Do List,” but as every athlete knows, rest is absolutely essential for achieving peak performance. You cannot work effectively without rest. It is a gift from God.
Our schedules and responsibilities are all different. We have different demands on our time and energy. Our lives have their own unique rhythms. May this summer give you an opportunity to shift the rhythm of your life and discover the wonderful rest and renewal that only God can give. Have a good summer!
Yours in Christ,
Tuesday, July 21 at 5:30 p.m. - Koinonia Circle will go out to eat at Olde Dutch Restaurant. ALL LADIES OF THE CHURCH ARE INVITED! PLEASE COME!!