Friday, December 3, 2010

An Advent Reflection on the Sabbath Rest

As the Book of Genesis tells us, the Sabbath is what the Creator apportioned to Himself (Gen 2:1-3) after He had called all things into being; after the Lord had created man and then lastly proclaimed to him and to all creatures His provision of food for each of them (Gen 1:29). One might say that the Sabbath is what the Lord “created” after He created; and what He “provided” after providing.

In giving us the Sabbath to observe, the Lord in effect invites us to “taste” or share in what He had first reserved for Himself alone. In this light, the Sabbath rest then becomes something we must do not simply because the Lord commands it, but because it is His greatest gift to us, even greater than the gift of life, as in it we might come to know Him on that day, not as our Creator and Provider, but as He Who Is and Who calls us to Himself.

Observing the Sabbath with the Lord is then an affirmation of our sacred nature, as beings created in the image and likeness of the Creator, as well as of the sacred nature of our work; it is our "Amen" to what the Lord saw when He beheld everything that He had made: that it was all "very good" (Gen 1:31). At the same time, in imitation of the Creator, we must work to ensure that everything we do might also be seen by the Lord as "very good;" that all our days might lead up to, prepare for, and culminate in the great and final Holy Sabbath rest with Him.

Then the King will say to those on His right, "Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world" (Matt 25:34).