26 Then God said, “Let us make humanity in our image to resemble us so that they may take charge of the fish of the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the earth, and all the crawling things on earth.”
27 God created humanity in God’s own image,
in the divine image God created them,
male and female God created them.
28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and master it. Take charge of the fish of the sea, the birds in the sky, and everything crawling on the ground.” 29 Then God said, “I now give to you all the plants on the earth that yield seeds and all the trees whose fruit produces its seeds within it. These will be your food. 30 To all wildlife, to all the birds in the sky, and to everything crawling on the ground—to everything that breathes—I give all the green grasses for food.” And that’s what happened. 31 God saw everything he had made: it was supremely good.
There was evening and there was morning: the sixth day.
2:1 The heavens and the earth and all who live in them were completed. 2 On the sixth day God completed all the work that he had done, and on the seventh day God rested from all the work that he had done. 3 God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all the work of creation.
Genesis said humans are God’s beloved children, created in God’s image. This is clearer when we compare the Bible to creation stories from the Mesopotamian countries around Israel. In them, frightening, selfish gods fought one another, and made human beings to be their slaves. In Genesis, God created human beings in God’s own image, and made them for a loving relationship!
Dear God, before anything else existed, Genesis said, you were there. You set it all in motion, and gave us a model of rest as well as work. Help me learn how to give up trying to control everything, and to rest in your care. Amen.
In today’s GPS, we read about the last bit of God’s creation, the creation of humanity in God’s own image. And when God finished and declared it to be “supremely good” (Genesis 1:31), what did God do? The Creator of the entire universe rested, and declared that each seventh day be a holy day of rest – Sabbath.
God, who knows us more intimately than any person ever will, who knew us even before we were born, who created us in his own image, declared that rest is important. When the creation of heaven and earth was done, the Bible doesn’t tell us God opened a new project file and started making lists. There were no heavenly meetings with the angels to plan the next action. God rested. When God gave Moses the Ten Commandments, he declared “Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy” (Exodus 20:8).
I’m not always very good at Sabbath. I love going to worship on Sunday mornings, and try very hard to be truly present in those moments of praise and teaching and celebration. But when the benediction has been said and the last Amen has been voiced, I am out the door, into the car thinking about errands I can get done on the way home, or the things I need to do before Monday morning. When I slide into the car, turn on the radio and hit the road, the Sabbath part of the week is done and the new week is starting. It’s funny when I think about it--when did I become more focused on getting the chores done than on encountering the living God?
One Sunday a while back I was still thinking about the sermon when I got in the car and something very simple happened. I was so lost in thought that I didn’t turn on the radio. I drove home in quiet, with no stops or distractions, thinking about what I had heard. I was almost surprised to find myself back home, and felt more refreshed and renewed than on a typical Sunday afternoon. The next few Sundays I made it a point to drive home in quiet. One sunny Sunday, I stopped at a park on the way home and walked around a bit, enjoying the sunshine and thanking God for that gift. A whole new world of Sabbath and rest opened up, with just the addition of taking the long way home in quiet.
Of course, that leaves less time for getting chores done or getting things ready for the week. It means fewer check marks on the To Do list, and I struggle with that sometimes. It also means I am more ready for the new week because I’ve allowed myself some of the rest and renewal that God intends for his creation. Are there simple things you could add to your Sabbath day that would help make it more holy and bring you God’s gifts of rest and renewal?
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