Reflections Week of 11/20/16

Different members of our church family write these reflections each week to go along with the two year reading plan the church is participating in. It is our hope that these reflections help you to get in to your Bible throughout the week and be challenged by the word of God.

Read Leviticus 25:1-7 (Tuesday 11/22)

This chapter is fascinating because Moses commands the Israelites to celebrate the Sabbath… for the land. No crops for a year. Give the land a break. The Sabbath in general is interesting, but it’s something I can wrap my mind around. When Christians talk about rest, I have this image in my mind of like… a cup of tea. A stroll through the leaves. A weekend away. But in this chapter, we see rest referred to as nation-wide and year-long. As something that even the ground can enjoy. And deeply embedded in this command is the idea of extra. You have so much time, this law says, that you can take a whole year off. And the land is so good, that it will actually provide for you. I love this! I don’t know if I always believe it. My heart is always looking for the next thing, the next day, the next task on my cosmic to-do list. But the rest that is commanded here is more than a vacation or a coffee break. It’s a lifestyle. It’s not a break from work, it’s how we work. It’s an acknowledgment that everything in the world is God’s, even my to-do list, and that most of it has been done already. And it’s a statement: I have been given so much extra, I can give the ground a break this year.

For Reflection: What would your life be like if you knew you had extra of everything you needed?

Read Hebrews 4:1-13 (Friday 11/25)

Here’s a more complex picture of what rest is meant to be in our lives. It’s meant to show us what salvation is. Right in between passages about what God did to write the story of salvation and what Jesus did to live it, we get a passage about rest. If you’re wondering what salvation is, this passage says, it’s a lot like all those Sabbath-commands you were taught in Sunday school. Yes, you have to do it. But, weirdly, you sort of have to not do it to do it. And if that sentence didn’t spin your mind backwards, it abruptly changes the subject to what scripture is. Scripture is living and active, it says, and very invasive. What does this mean for rest? For salvation? In Leviticus we saw that most of what needs to be done has been done by God. Here we see it spiraling out into the future: most of what needs to be done is still in the process of being done by God. So rest, and salvation, is faith that God is till working. That what is broken will someday be fixed. And it is an acknowledgement: it may not seem like I have extra of anything right now. But I can go ahead and act like I do, because God is going to fix that.

For Reflection: What would your life be like if you had plenty already and you knew more was still coming?

Reflections written by Amy Giacalone 

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