Here’s a thought for Nov. 15

First Lutheran Church

On the seventh day God finished the work that he had doneand rested.

Genesis 2:2

Fall is a busy season, and this year it seems even that much more so. Places to go, people to see, jobs to do, many things clamoring for our attention and rarely does it feel like there are enough hours in the day.

On the one hand, it’s good to be busy. After all, Adam and Eve had work to do even in the Garden of Eden. From being fruitful and multiplying (Genesis 1) to tilling the ground and keeping it (Genesis 2), they, too, had their hands full with commitments and responsibilities. Maybe that’s why we feel spiritually incomplete if we don’t have meaningful work.

On the other hand, too much work is not good for us either. As vital as it is for us to create and solve and produce, so it is, says God, that we are to celebrate the Sabbath. That, of course, means rest, a truism used by folks everywhere to sleep in on Sunday mornings instead of going to church.

Now, if they were smart, they would use a different argument. They would tell us that they had been reading in their Bibles and discovered how dangerous it can be to go to church. Then, with serious looks on their faces, they would recount the story of poor Eutychus who, while sitting in a window at a gathering where the apostle Paul had been teaching for hours, fell asleep, fell three stories and almost died (Acts 20:9). I speak on behalf of the Marshall Ministerium when I assure you that we preachers promise to keep our sermons significantly (and safely!) shorter than that.

A Sabbath rest is really meant to help us take a break from the world in order to focus on the goodness of God. And though that can happen on the couch, at the cabin or in the coffee shop, I’m convinced that the best place to do it is wherever we gather as the body of Christ to worship, to give thanks, to build each other up and recommit ourselves to God’s service.

So as you make your way through this busy fall, be sure to plan your week around a break from work and the world. Start your Sabbath rest at worship and watch as God uses that to bless you throughout the week that follows.