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The seventh day

by davesandel on February 9th, 2021

Tuesday, February 9, 2021                 (today’s lectionary)

The seventh day

Let the water teem with sea monsters and all kinds of swimming creatures! Let every winged bird fly! And so it happened. God created, and God saw that it was good, and God blessed them all. “Be fertile and multiply,” he said. “Fill the waters and the sky.”

But God was not finished. Not nearly done, oh no. She would not be stopping at the edges of the sea and sky.

So God said, “Let the earth bring forth all kinds of living creatures, and so it happened, and God saw how good it was.

Now it’s my turn, watching this so long ago and far away in my imagination, sitting at night beside the Canaan fire, listening to my Grandpa Abraham tell us the stories he had heard when he was just a wee little boy. And I’m really excited. I know what’s coming next.

Because then God turns his attention to us, who she hopes will become her companions.

And then God said, “Let us make hu-man in our image, after our likeness.”

Did he really say that? Did those words to the we-God make us happen, begin our human history, let us out of the bag and into the air, ready to breathe and grow and laugh and cry and be here now? I think so, I really do. Now comes the moment of conception, and we are about to be born. God has been carrying our weight around heavy-laden in his belly for long enough, and now the time has come for us to breathe our own breath and cry out loud.

So God did create hu-man in his own divine image, male and female he created them, and he blessed them. And so it happened, and God looked around at all that he had made and found it very good.

God gave all his living creatures instructions. He gave us instructions too, but our instructions involved responsibility for more than just ourselves.

“Be fertile and multiply,” he said.

But then God went on.

“You will take dominion over the fish and birds and all the animals of the earth. Plus, I am giving you every plant and every tree for food. Fill the earth, yes, and subdue it. Yes.” And evening came, and morning followed, and it was the sixth day. And he was finished with the work he was doing.

Then in his next breath, God began showing us how to live. God wanted us to be like him, to live and love everything around us like he did, and part of that was learning how to rest from it. God showed us how to breathe in, and breathe out, and then breathe in again. God showed us sabbath, how to manage our energy rather than our time. God showed us all we needed then, and now, to live with each other and with the whole earth.

What did she show us? What in fact is the power of sabbath? Well, the authors of The Power of Full Engagement put this ancient instruction into new words and called it a “new” paradigm. Six days to live by six rules, and then to rest …

  1. Manage energy (not time)
  2. Seek stress
  3. See life as a series of sprints
  4. Receive downtime as a productive time
  5. Let purpose fuel performance and let ritual rule
  6. Grow into the power of full engagement with ALL your energy: physical, emotional, emotional, mental and spiritual.

And what do I do on the seventh day, Lord?

He rested on the seventh day from all the work he had undertaken. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work. Such is the story of the heavens and earth at their creation.

If I don’t know how to rest, then I must learn to rest from you, Lord. You WILL show me how, because you made me and you love me as one like you.

O Lord, our Lord how majestic is your name in all the earth. Incline my heart to your decrees, and favor me with your law. Do not let me nullify your word in favor of my traditions, but let me rule the earth as you rule me, with glory and honor.

(Genesis 1, Psalm 8, Psalm 119, Mark 7)

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