Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation. (Genesis 2:1-3)
I had a day off today. I am only on mission for ten days, and one of those days was cleared of any work and we were told to go and rest. So this leaves nine days with which we are able to ‘do mission’ – leading kid’s clubs, preparing worship, meeting the elderly, studying the bible with cell groups. One whole day is dedicated to doing none of these things.
Now, when God made the world he set aside a week for the task, yet he only worked for six of those days. He himself set aside a day for rest before he declared his work done ‘finished’.
So then it would seem rest is an integral part of work.
Today was a day off from our work here. After 8 busy days of activity we have a while day to ourselves. With my day off, I went to see an old friend I am very fond of. It warmed my heart and made me glad to spend the day with a group of such good friends. I laughed very hard at the film ‘How to train your dragon’.
Today I rested. I don’t know what God did on his day of rest. When I read the first chapter of Genesis, and then seeing that part about ‘rest’ at the very end I would be inclined to think that in God’s day of rest he enjoyed all the good things he had created.
Of course I am aware that today I have not created anything. But I have spent the week intending to become a part of what God is doing in this place. After spending a week working with God it is good to spend a day just enjoying God and his goodness.
And with that rest, perhaps it is time to say that this mission trip has reached some sort of completion? As when God rested at the completion of his work, indeed the rest completed his work, bringing the creation to a full week (seven often being a symbol of perfection of completion in the Bible).
Stopping and resting certainly seems to bring a finality to our affairs.
And I don’t mean a moment to catch your breath. Like a farmer who might rest by leaning on his shovel for a moment. I mean to put away the shovel, got and have a hot shower and get changed.
When we rest, as God rested, we intend to not do the work we previously were doing.
And in that place of not doing, somehow our doing is complete.
And at the end of this mission, this time of not doing is blessed by God as the end of our task and it’s completion.
It’s been a good trip.