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The Seventh Day June 27, 2010

Posted by Phil Groom in Church, Random Musings.
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And on the seventh day, God rested.

God rested.

And that too was good, though Genesis doesn’t spell that out for us in the same way as it does for each of the previous days. It does tell us that God blessed the seventh day and called it holy, and that sounds pretty good to me.

In church today we sang the old Horatius Bonar hymn:

I heard the voice of Jesus say,
“Come unto me and rest;
Lay down, thou weary one,
lay down thy head upon my breast.”
I came to Jesus as I was,
so weary, worn and sad;
I found in him a resting place,
and he has made me glad.

But it’s not something the church is generally very good at, is it? We invite people in, and instead of finding a place of peace and tranquility, they find a place of frantic frenetic frenzied activity as everyone seeks to justify their existence by doing, doing and doing. Anyone who simply sits still is frowned upon until they too sign up to join a committee or rearrange the furniture or whatever else it is that everybody else’s expectations requires.

So today, to all those feeling exhausted by other people’s expectations, I’d like to say, quite simply:

You are; and you have the right to be.

Your existence does not depend upon the endless doing foisted upon you by other people’s expectations. You can sit down and watch England v. Germany in the World Cup this afternoon if that’s what you want to do and you don’t need to justify your existence by peeling onions at the same time.

You are; and you have the right to be.

And if you’re not a football fan, you can simply sit and relax in the sunshine; or go for a walk; or read a novel. Or simply be. There’s nothing to prove:

You are; and you have the right to be.

Special thanks to a special friend who made me think of this today: you know who you are, and you, especially, have the right to be.

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Comments»

1. fragmentz - June 27, 2010

thanks for this blog.

2. Simon Robinson - June 27, 2010

Excellent refreshing post 🙂

3. Phil Groom - June 27, 2010

Thank you both — and I hope each of you finds some time to be during what’s left of this weekend 🙂

Me, I have to go wash a car……

4. Stuart - June 27, 2010

Another fab post, thanks, I love coming again to browse your blog via your twitter updates. I am also hoping to start my own blog soon and your has provided me with some inspiration

5. Karita - June 27, 2010

How glad I am to read this, after my frenzied activities of the last few days. Thanks.

6. Mel Menzies - June 27, 2010

Funny you should say that! This is one of my bugbears. We attend a large friendly Baptist Church, which offers something for everyone. Which is great. But . . . It requires a lot of people, leading a lot of activities, a lot of labour, and a lot of time spent away from families to achieve it.

When do we make silence to hear the still small voice of God? How can we know his fragrance if we’ve no time to smell the flowers; how see his majesty if we never take time to view a sunset; how marvel at the simplicity and complexity of his creation if we don’t make the effort to play with our children and grandchildren; how know his love if we don’t speak it and touch another heart? He took the time to look at his creation and say ‘it is good’. What’s wrong with us doing the same?

7. Valiant for Truth - June 27, 2010

I’m personally very sad that so many Cathedrals insist in their staff in their shops and restaurants working on Sundays. People can visit a Cathedral without spending money – how about some spiritual enrichment/ But, Sunday seems now to be a major shopping day instead of a family day, unless dragging the family round a shopping mall counts as togetherness with the family of man.

8. fromthesamesky - June 27, 2010

This is brilliant, such an important thing to remember (and yet I hardly know anybody that takes it seriously. Except perhaps me; I love being lazy. Oh, that isn’t what you meant? Only joking!)

Anyway, it’s such a great post – I get so frustrated with our church; everyone so busy all the time and putting pressure on us to be busy too (especially Jon). I just want to yell ‘he’s my husband too you know!’. Grrr! Thankyou for sharing.

9. David Marriott - June 28, 2010

As ever, the well of truth that is the slightly deranged Mr. Groom says it how it is, and is right. Amazing.

10. Phil Groom - June 28, 2010

Well what can I say except thank you all? I am truly humbled by your kind comments.

I’d reply to you all individually except I’d probably end up saying much the same thing over and over again — although I guess Christians are kinda used to that with the kind of modern worship songs that are mercifully few and far between in the churches I go to. Probably something to do with the emergence of copy & paste technology: there’s one for the music & worship types to cogitate over — have worship songs become more repetitive as computer use has become more common? Could be a PhD in that for someone…

@Mel: I love your way with words: “How can we know his fragrance if we’ve no time to smell the flowers?” — beautiful.

@fromthesamesky: lazy people don’t get 1st class degrees, so I know that’s not true of you. Congratulations! Do yell at them, and feel free to yell from me if you can’t quite bring yourself to yell on your own behalf 🙂

@David: only slightly deranged? I hoped I was further gone than that…

@everyone else: thank you once again. The challenge for all of us, of course, is to relax to the challenge, chill out a while and bask in the utterly mind-boggling hugeness of God’s love…


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