March 6, 2024

In 2024, we will strive to become more like Jesus by rediscovering the ancient practices of prayer, study, sabbath, celebration, and many more. Our knowledge of scripture, coupled with studying how Jesus lived his life while on earth, will help us become people that overflow with the goodness of God. Wednesday email devotionals will highlight the practices that have been discussed on the previous Sunday.

Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.

God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.

Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.

By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.


Genesis 1:26-2:3


The number seven is significant throughout the Bible, it’s more than just a lucky number.


Out of formless darkness, God created day, night, land, plants, the sun, the moon, stars, living creatures, and humans. Out of nothing, creation was born. The passage tells us that God finished his work and rested on the seventh day. The seventh day embodies wholeness. It's a rhythm of work followed by rest and a celebration of his wondrous deeds.


The significance of the number seven is seen throughout the Old Testament and the New Testament, beginning with the creation story in Genesis. It reappears in the command given to Moses, where God commands his people to honor the Sabbath day and keep it holy. If you read Leviticus, you’ll notice that the number seven is integral to the rhythm of Hebrew festivals. Then, every seven years, the Israelites observed the Sabbath Year, a time appointed for freeing slaves, remitting debts, and allowing the land to rest. This cycle culminated in a festival of Jubilee every seven Sabbath Years, marking a time of celebration and rest. It is in this year that Jesus declared the year of the Lord’s favor, a prophecy fulfilled through his ministry (referenced in Luke 4:18-21).


Don’t miss this proclamation that Jesus shares. God’s original intention was for you and me to delight in the gifts God has given. Through the introduction of sin in our world, our rest and our work became more challenging than they were ever meant to be. The Sabbath command invites us to remember God’s good and complete plan, but Jesus’ sacrifice allows us to work out our purpose from a place of belonging and rest. Jesus is the redemption for all things, even our own work and rest.


God works, designs, creates, and offers the fullness of not only his goodness but also of the goodness of his creation. We were meant to delight in the goodness of all God has to offer. The seventh day of rest is meant to be a small piece of the restoration story we experience.


After all, the Sabbath was made for us (Mark 2:27).


Israel was commanded to practice the Sabbath to remember God’s goodness, but we are invited to practice rest in Jesus’ restoration of creation. Jesus is our rest. How we understand our work and our rest this month should be coupled with Jesus’ declaration of his redemption and invitation to experience eternal delight in God.


Welcome to the month of delighting. We get to delight because we rest in Jesus’ redemption.

For Reflection

What does it mean for you to delight in God?


What does working out our earthly purpose from a place of belonging and rest mean?


God, thank you for your daily, weekly, monthly, and even yearly reminders that we are invited to partake in your peace and rest. Thank you for Jesus, who is to be our salvation and our rest. This week, grant us the freedom to rest in confidence and delight in your abundant goodness. Amen.

Morgan Kennedy
Teaching & Learning Director