allbelievers

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the Christian ministry of the whole people of God.

Got some R and R?

"R and R" - a phrase familiar to the military and probably many others; the hope of most of us at this time of year.  And what interesting words for the Christian: Rest and Recreation.  And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation (Genesis 2:2-3).  But God hadn't “finished” in the sense that the task was complete (that would be to take a deist line), and he didn't rest because he was tired and needed a break!  Rather, there is a strong sense here of rest being not so much inevitable or essential as intrinsically good.  God finished, God rested.  God blessed and hallowed the day because of the rest.

For humankind, there is a reversal.  God rested at the end of his week, while the man and woman created on the sixth day (1:27) enjoy their first full day on the planet as a day of rest!  Out of that restedness they set to on the agenda God gave them (1:28).

Then there's “recreation”. “Recreate” has a 15th century origin in the Latin word recreare, literally ‘to bring forth again’, with obvious linkage to creare (and our “create”). So if we are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27), recreation should be to do with having that image ‘brought forth again’ in us.  I liked Ken Edgecombe's note on Jesus, Martha and Mary (Luke 10:38-42):

This passage is neither a slight on the practical values of Martha nor a call to a life of otherworldly contemplation. But it is a reminder, to people caught up in the cares of a busy life under pressure, that fullness of life is not to be found in ticking off all the items on the list. It is to put the list against the backdrop of the one for whom we have compiled it, and to take time apart to rediscover your perspective and fundamental purpose; to remember that the work is done for the lover of our souls.

May your vacation be good holy-days.  May your rest be not so much recuperation from as springboard for the work you do in partnership with God.  May your recreation refresh his image in you.

Yours in Christ

Peter Nicholls

... fullness of life is not to be found in ticking off all the items on the list. It is to put the list against the backdrop of the one for whom we have compiled it, and to take time apart to rediscover your perspective and fundamental purpose ...

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