It is Friday night, my time in the week to reflect and write. This week has been half term so my thoughts tonight are an attempt to savour and share if at all possible some of the wonder of yesterday’s soul feast that I got to enjoy. But as is the case when we have been without deep nourishing soul food for any length of time a rich feast, while amazing in the moment, it can leave us feeling somewhat out of sorts the next day. My children will testify to the fact that while I seemed alived and energised yesterday, today they were met with a very out of sorts, grumpy mum. That is not to detract from the meal itself but the reminder that I need soul feeding more regularly than is happening at present.
This was a gathering to which Mark and I had been invited but in the end only I went while he took all 3 children to their delight around the Natural History Museum in Oxford. It was during the time of prayer at the start that I realised I felt just as I did as a small child filled with excitment over Christmas morning and all that awaited. Prayers that flowed from the hearts of men and women who have been loving Jesus for years. Those years have not all been filled with highs but they have been years through which genuine love and delight in Jesus have been forged.
Two of the threads of the day that I have come away with is that of Sabbath rest and our humanity in it fullness and they weave together so well.
We are created by God on His final day of work. He then rests. We enter the world and being our live with God in a place of rest. This is echoed in the rhythm of the day which in Hebrew thinking is one of night followed by day. We rest and then get up and enter into the good works already prepared for us by God. He has been at work before us and we are invited in to His work to revel in it and enjoy it as we were with creation. And in the life of Jesus we see one who knew His Father’s work and was able to not heal everyone and provide for every need. He sought time alone, He sought time with His friends away from the crowds and on the cross He was able to say ‘it is finished’. Not that every need had been met, that every illness cured but still He said it was finished. The work He had come to do was finished.
So as I consider heading to bed am I able to say with confidence ‘it is finished’ for the work God has invitied me into in this day? If not is that because I have sought to fill the day with more than God has asked of me this day? Have I greater expectations on what I can achieve in a day than God? Do I think my productivity and busyness reflects my faith and God more clearly than having faith in God to show His presence to others when needed? Am I willing to rest and allow Him to be sustaing and keeping me at the start of this new day approaching?
Then thinking through our humaness, I need look no further than my children’s animal encylopediea and smile considering that if God can be this entertaining and creative with all these animals then it is more than ok for me to enjoy life too. You don’t create all these animals and then create people to enter into it all to be gloomy. This is not about what is beneficial/allowed but simply about enjoying life in all its fullness to the beat God placed within you with the purpose of enjoying life and taking delight in life.
Rest and delight energises and restores us, they lift us up and set us right way up with God, with His work, with those around us. This coming week my prayer is that I will allow Sabbath rest to shape my days, seek the company of friends to delight in the wonder of creativity be it the colours of creation, a meal, music, dancing with my children, time with my husband and seek His calling into works of homecare and teaching that He calls me day by day to.
And maybe then the next soul feast I get to savour will not leave me feeling so out of sorts the next day because there has been a day by day soul meal in Him taking place.