Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Work-Ethic or Rest-Ethic

Wonderful article from Paul Trip over at Desiring God, called Real Lasting Rest.

It's a good piece, and it got me thinking. I've been reading and re-reading the first few chapters of Hebrews this week, and of course rest is a theme there as well.

I take rest to be one of those things that we can taste now, even though not in the fullness that we will one day enjoy it. It's a now and not yet kind of thing. The ESV Study Bible, in its comments on Hebrews 4:1-13, puts it this way:
Although some believe [the author of Hebrews] has in view either an entirely present or an entirely future rest, the following section makes most sense if the rest is understood as already inaugurated but awaiting consummation. He looks primarily to the future, as indicated by the need to continue striving to enter this rest (Heb. 4:1, 11, 14) and by the promise of a cessation from the struggles of this life (Heb. 4:9–10). Yet there remains a sense in which that future rest touches the experience of this life (hence “today,” Heb. 4:7).
Now, I make no pretense about always having a heart at rest, enjoying the love of the Father from moment to moment. Nope. Not me. And at heart, as Hebrews teaches, it's a trust issue. We have no rest--no rest from shame, no rest from guilt, no rest from fear, no rest from anxiety about the future, no rest from hopeless striving--because our faith is weak.

I'll have more to say on this, but for now here's a snarky aside to finish with. Why is there so little rest, so much anxiety, in our churches? Why so much emotional pendulum-swinging from boisterous faith to deep despair? Is it because our teachers fear to deliver a message of rest, rather than a message of work? Oh, they're careful to affirm the faith-alone message of the Reformation in theory, but in practice they often have a work-ethic rather than a rest-ethic.

Just sayin' . . .

1 comment:

n. davis rosback said...

good article from paul trip.

you have some very interestng thoughts, here.