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Thought for the Day – March 25th

In this current crisis it is very distressing for many not to work every day – at a business, or a career. Our thoughts are with any whose general anxiety is heightened by extra worries about livelihood – their own, or employees; who can do nothing but watch as years of effort are reduced to nothing.

There’s an argument that because we are forced to stop working, we might begin to appreciate rest – the sabbath – “on the seventh day God rested” – being, rather than doing. All very well, but there’s one crucial difference. In Genesis, “on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested…”

Anyone who’s ever done a hard day’s work will know that powerful feeling of resting after, tired but satisfied. But this “rest” isn’t like that at all; it’s unfinished business; enforced rest. It’s difficult to just be when there’s so much still that can’t be done.

Ultimately this dreadful period may lead us all to re-order our priorities – that would, no doubt, be a good thing. But we shouldn’t imagine that the crisis will help us overcome our fractured human nature – we are fallen – “cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life”.

On this understanding, we are destined to toil, and to live with restlessness, however much we are forced to rest. The Christian Faith continues to hope in the One who has “remodelled” human nature through His death and rising again – “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest”.

Michael Docker