Scripture Focus: Hebrews 4.1-3
1 Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. 2 For we also have had the good news proclaimed to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because they did not share the faith of those who obeyed. 3 Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said…
Reflection: Transcendent Peace and Rest
By John Tillman
Quarantine experiences vary widely. Some of us are at leisure while some are pushed to work around the clock. Some suffer in boredom and some in financial panic. Some are in danger outside the home at essential jobs and some are in danger in the home from abusers they cannot leave home to avoid.
Despite the variety of our experiences, there is a resource available to believers that the rest of the world cannot tap. It is a type of rest in which the busiest can recharge and a type of refreshment and stimulation unavailable in the most captivating leisure activity. There is a place of peace that those in peril can hold on to. There is security unattainable even by those with stockpiles of resources. Christians can rest in God.
This is a spiritual rest that can exist in the midst of strenuous activity. It is transcendent rest, that is unassailable by physical suffering. It is rest that, although invisible, is as tangible as our next breath.
Hebrews speaks of this rest by referencing the Genesis account. Many commenters note that the end of the seventh day, the day of rest, is not noted as the others are. It has no “morning and evening,” no beginning and no end. God’s “rest” was not intended to end. But for sin, Adam and Eve may have lived in a continual “seventh day” period, experiencing “shalom” or peace with God.
In Jewish culture, sabbath, or shabbat, and peace, or shalom, are linked. We find shalom within shabbat. We find peace within the sabbath. This weekly illustration was never intended to mean that we can only have peace on one day out of seven. Instead, we can experience God’s peace in every day and any moment. Hebrews tells us that “we who have believed enter that rest.”
God has made a new day for us to live in. The author of Hebrews and David the psalmist call it “Today.” It is a day of opportunity. This day we choose who we serve, as Joshua said on the banks of the Jordan. God sets before us the Promised Land, the Sabbath rest.
Israel, when they trusted their strength, failed. So will we. Israel, when they trusted in wealth, caused needless death. So will we. Israel, when they trusted only in God, saw impossibly great walls fall to the ground. So will we.
Trust and enter his rest. Carry his peace with you always.
Divine Hours Prayer: The Refrain for the Morning Lessons
The Lord is near to those who call upon him, to all who call upon him faithfully. — Psalm 145.19
– Divine Hours prayers from The Divine Hours: Prayers for Springtime by Phyllis Tickle.
Read more about A Restoring Sabbath
This post by Dena Dyer from 2019 reminds us of the value of a Sabbath. How are you using the unintentional Sabbath of Quarantine? How are you allowing yourself and your “land” to rest
Read more about Better Things to Do
Amos 8.5-6, 11
When will..the Sabbath be ended
that we may market wheat?
…buying the poor with silver
and the needy for a pair of sandals…