July 13, 2016 – Reflection on Rest

By Rev. Jill Sander-Chali

Genesis 2:1-3

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude.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.

For some reason, this scripture has always called my attention. Perhaps it is because so much of my life has been spent NOT resting. I used to answer the question of “How are you?” with a very proud “BUSY!” as if that made me and my faith life better than everyone else. Work is very important; in fact for the first 6 days of creation God worked at bringing all of life into creation. Yet, God calls that 7th day of rest not just important, but HOLY.

What would your life be like if you took this seriously? What changes would you make to your daily priorities to include rest? How can you incorporate a 7th day Sabbath of rest?

As you reflect on these questions, I want to also share this beautiful poem from Jan Richardson’s blog Painted Prayerbook. She is one of my favorite artistic theologians! You can find this poem and more (plus artwork!) at http://paintedprayerbook.com/2012/07/15/come-away-and-rest/

Blessing of Rest
By Jan Richardson

Curl this blessing
beneath your head
for a pillow.
Wrap it about yourself
for a blanket.
Lay it across your eyes
and for this moment
cease thinking about
what comes next,
what you will do,
when you will rise.

Let this blessing
gather itself to you
like the stillness
that descends
between your heartbeats,
the silence that comes
so briefly
but with a constancy
on which
your life depends.

Settle yourself
into the quiet
this blessing brings,
the hand it lays
upon your brow,
the whispered word
it breathes into
your ear
telling you
all shall be well
all shall be well
and you can rest
now.

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