Wednesday, November 4, 2015

A Do Nothing Day

Scripture Texts: Hebrews 3:7-19; Hebrews 4:1-16

A day of nothing. It seems almost impossible to imagine. A day when the list of places to go and things to do are pushed aside and the agenda of the day is nothing. This is a major component of sabbath. Each person is to set aside a day where the agenda is to rest from our labor so that we might keep our lives from being overcome by all that we try to cram into it.

The practice of sabbath is as old as creation. In fact that is where we first learn of sabbath. After God finishes the work of creating all of the cosmos, a day of rest is declared. To be certain there was still work to be done in all that God had created, however a day was set aside before the work continued to rest and reset the focus.

Throughout history people have struggled with Sabbath. Some fail to practice a day or rhythm of Sabbath, while others run the risk of being so legalistic about sabbath they forget the God connection to sabbath. We must remember Jesus took times of rest, as appropriate and needed. At the same time Jesus was often found doing the work of God on the sabbath. Perhaps it is less about a set aside day and more about a set aside heart.

Marriage requires days of nothing. Days when there are no lists of things to get done around the house. No activities to race between. No alarm clock. A day that is set aside for a married couple to simply be together and remember the God who has joined them together.

For us this often means getting away from the house and our family. Sometimes it is an overnight away, other times it is as easy as an evening out. This is not something we do weekly as is a common pattern of sabbath, rather we work it into the ebb and flow of life. We find ways to have a day of nothing that we can spend together.

Like God used a sabbath day after creation, we too need to find ways to rest to have a day of nothing. It is important to find days where we do this as individuals, and as couples. These days are not so we can do nothing for the sake of nothing. No, the do nothing days are so that we can do nothing and remember that God is God of our life not all the other stuff we fill our days and marriage with. There is only one God and sometimes we need a do nothing day to remember that.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Letting God be The Builder

Scripture Texts: Hebrews 2:5-18; Hebrews 3:1-6; Psalm 95

A few years ago we purchased a house. In the process of dealing with all of the paper work that comes with buying a house we came across the abstract. An abstract for a house is the history of the house, tracing the line of ownership to the very start of the parcel of land. Along the way there were several people who owned the property, and eventually a house was built on the property in 1930.

There is plenty of evidence of additions and other changes to the house. We have continued in the tradition of making adaptations to the house as we have remodeled some areas and added other areas. All along the way doing the work needed to make our house into our home. No matter what changes we make to the house, it will always be traced back to the people who built it.

When we look at our lives, we are continuing to build our lives each day. The decisions and situations of our life are the building materials used to construct our lives. Looking across our lives we can find times when we have made a real mess of our lives, and times of great triumph and success. However we must remember who is the ultimate builder of our lives.

God is the creator of all life, and this includes our life. Regardless of what we make of our lives we will never be greater than the one who has created our life. Likewise the image and imprint of the Creator will always be a part of our lives. Ultimately the best way to build a life is to be a co-laborer with God allowing God's love and grace to constantly mold and shape our life.

This is no different for a marriage. During our time dating we began to build a foundation for our marriage. This foundation gave way to the first glimpses of what our marriage might look like as we journeyed through our engagement. On the day of our wedding the basic frame of our marriage was established. Ever since we have continued to build and develop the house that is our marriage.

Through it all it can be easy to think we are the ones building our marriage. In many ways we are the ones charged with the effort to build. However, we must remember our marriage is never greater than the God who knit us together. If we build our marriage without leaving room for God, we will find all sorts of extra challenges and struggles.

Even better than leaving room for God, is allowing God to be the architect and builder of our marriage. This means we remain open to the leading of God, who will show us the way to build the best marriage we can. When we stay in tune with what God is doing, God's creative imprint on our marriage will be seen long before any other aspect of our marriage is seen.