We know that God established Sabbath as a day of rest at the end of the 7-day week. On the 6th day human beings were created. So clearly there wasn’t much work, if any at all, for humankind to do between them being created and Sabbath rest being instituted. So, if not to rest from work, what then was the purpose of that very first sabbath? And what can that teach us about sabbath rest today?
Imagine that you’re Adam or Eve. It’s Friday and you came to know yourself and to meet the One who created you. And together with your Creator you start to explore the vastness of your garden-home. You are enveloped in nature. You go off to sleep with wonderment and immense joy and wake up just as blissful with jubilant expectation to see what else the Creator has to reveal of His eARTh. And He bids you “good morning, welcome to your first Sabbath!” He invites you to explore and reflect on all He did for you despite you having done nothing. He invites you to receive Sabbath grace.
Grace, simply defined in Christian theology, is a favor given to us by God only on the basis that He desires for us to have it, not because of anything we have done to earn it (i.e. it’s unmerited).
Nature is one way grace is demonstrated. We did nothing to have received the gift of nature. All its wonder and splendor is the grace that Sabbath affords us to reflect on.
Join me on this pictorial ode to nature, journeying through Arizona:
In every direction throughout Arizona there is the beauty of the natural wonders of nature, and this too is a reminder of the grace of Sabbath.
Shabbat Shalom. May you experience the grace of the Sabbath in nature today and every day.