Friday, January 4, 2008

A time for hibernation

I went into hibernation during the month of December which was supposedly the busiest month of the year. I did not even preach at the Christmas eve service in my church even though many expected me to preach since I am the senior pastor of the church. I took time off to be with my family. We had a gala time enjoying undistracted and undisturbed time with one another. Sarah was back home from Grand Rapids and we had so much to catch up. Without me around in the church to make sure things were done properly, things turned out to be even better. I could sit back to enjoy the Christmas drama presented by the young people in the church. One thing I learned: pastors must not take themselves too seriously, the church often functions well even when they are not around because God is directing his people.

The short Sabbath refreshes and rejuvenates me. I discovered that while I rest and sleep, God works out his covenant grace to bring about healing, restoration of strength. He makes his church grow. He sustains the universe by his word. I can't build the church by my own effort, neither can a Christian business man earns the whole world by his or her business acumen. God invites me to participate in his creative work, to enjoy his creation. There is a rhythm which he puts in the universe and he expects me to flow with it. We begin with worship, then work and follow by Sabbath (Hebrew word for rest) and play. Sabbath and play is spiritual and God takes delight when we do that. When we work without Sabbath and play as if the world or the work depends on us or else it would collapse or fail, we are taking ourselves too seriously. We forgot that there is a God who is the creator and sustainer of the universe.

Without biblical balance and rhythm, work can become a drudgery, family life may suffer, children may be neglected, friendship becomes utilitarian. I am glad God's word provides me with wisdom.

1 comment:

Micah and Blair said...

This was very encouraging for Blair and I who often live as if rest was unspiritual. Thanks! It was also good to hear that you got to spend a lot of time with your family. I bet you were excited to see your daughter again!