Working for rest

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Working for rest

Hebrews 4:1–10

4 Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest is still open, let us take care that none of you should seem to have failed to reach it. 2 For indeed the good news came to us just as to them; but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened. 3 For we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said,

“As in my anger I swore,

‘They shall not enter my rest,’ ”

though his works were finished at the foundation of the world. 4 For in one place it speaks about the seventh day as follows, “And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.” 5 And again in this place it says, “They shall not enter my rest.” 6 Since therefore it remains open for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience, 7 again he sets a certain day—“today”—saying through David much later, in the words already quoted,

“Today, if you hear his voice,

do not harden your hearts.”

8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not speak later about another day. 9 So then, a sabbath rest still remains for the people of God; 10 for those who enter God’s rest also cease from their labors as God did from his.

The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Heb 4:1–10). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

What if each of our lives were works of art painted across the canvas of time? At the end of time, all the artwork would be revealed as God’s great art show. Jesus, the master painter would be there to celebrate the work of all His students. What a glorious and beautiful thing that could be!

We, created in God’s image are creators as well. We take the material God gives us and make new things, shaping our lives to suit our desires. Being God’s craftsmen and women, we all have a desire to look upon our creations and see that they are good. Upon completion, we, like God, would love to look back and say that it is all very good. The time of Sabbath rest following that judgment is not just because we often get tired trudging through the work of life. The rest is a time to celebrate the work we have accomplished with God.

If we choose not to work, or to work poorly however, we will have nothing to celebrate. Indeed, it may bring shame upon us to look back upon our lives. What can I do if my life is not a thing of beauty and goodness? I can ask for help.

Jesus, the master painter is always there to lead and guide us, helping us to grow as an artist of life. He freely gives knowledge and wisdom to those who seek Him. He leads and disciplines us in the practices of life. Although we can learn these things from others as well, it is Jesus alone who can also wipe our canvas clean, taking our mistakes upon Himself, where He can transform them into something beautiful. In Jesus, God has come to us and created a painting of painters, a photograph of photographers, a symphony of composers, and a book of authors – all telling His own story. Is that not what the Bible is itself? A book of authors, all telling part of God’s story?

What is your part in God’s work of art?

Blank Verse for Autumn’s End

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The window pales murky in the fog

covered morning as summer falls away

and chases dreams of life and light and dance

and warm embrace

when chance is spent for good

and feeling leaves withdraw, detach, and fall

to their subsequent slumber in the earth –

I know not where

the morning glories bow

their sightless eyes to depths unfathomed

the clock cooing in the distance again

disturbs my rest

upon an angel’s lap

my body purrs, awaiting patient’s pull

on tail ticked left bereft of rhyme or right

this autumn night

fading into the blue

gray haze of winter’s ice-cold grip of sleep

less pain and shaking fever flowered dreams

beneath me lies

receding warmth and life

outpoured in shudders gently held within

and trickling down through softly shaking hands

upon my neck

a gentle gaze is fixed

and founded in the face of saving love

that spared me from a mother smothering

my infant breaths

in faint and feeble steam

my gaze away peers through the glassy shield

which shelters me from feeling harsher change

as winter falls.