A New View of Work and Leisure
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:
The old has gone, the new is here!
2 Corinthians 5:17I’m grateful my parents brought me up with a healthy attitude about work as well as play time. They have a strong work ethic, but also modeled how to enjoy leisure time. Even so, I sometimes find myself getting sucked into the worldly view of work and play.
Too often, work is seen as drudgery and leisure activities are promoted as the only exciting part of life, but both are gifts from God. Imagine if all we ever did was play. It would no longer be a well deserved break from work. In fact, we would find ways to make it into work (and many people manage to do just that). They mix things up - playing at work and working at play. On the other hand, if all we ever did was work, we would burn out. Work would cease to be a privilege. Our energy, enthusiasm, and imagination would dramatically drop off.
God created us with a need for both, and all through the Bible He reminds us to seek balance. Scripture says God participates in both work and rest and we are created in His image. God wants our work to be a pleasure and benefit to us. He is a God of joy and likes to see His children living an abundant life. He wants us to have good, clean fun – enjoying Him, and all He has created.
The work Jesus did on the cross relieves us of the burden of earning our way to heaven. When Jesus gave up His Spirit on the cross and said, “It is finished,” it was.
That takes the pressure off us. Now we can enjoy both work time and play time. We can be grateful for both, fully present with the people and tasks at hand, and seek to honor God whatever we’re doing.
A few things I know for sure:
· Gives us a sense of purpose
· Builds our self-esteem
· Enables us to provide for our own needs
· Gives us a resource for giving
· Reveals God’s character in us
Rest and Play:
· Refreshes our bodies, spirits, minds, and emotions
· Bring pleasure and build memories
· Give us time with friends and family
· Reveals God’s character in usWhen Christ lives in us, He daily teaches us new things and a better perspective. When we see our work and our leisure time as from Him and for Him, both become a privilege and a pleasure. In Him, we are whole and balanced. That is His will for us.
Easter Story Cookies: These are a fun treat to make with your family or friends the night before Easter. Their ingredients tell the amazing story of what Jesus did for us.
1 c whole pecans
1 t vinegar
3 egg whites
1 c sugar
- Preheat oven to 300° (important to do first!)and grab your Bible.
- Place pecans in Ziploc baggie and let children beat them with a wooden spoon to break into small pieces. Explain that after Jesus was arrested, He was beaten by the Roman soldiers. Read John 19:1-3.
- Let each child smell the vinegar. Put 1 t in a mixing bowl. Explain that on the cross when Jesus was thirsty, He was given vinegar to drink. Read John 19:28-30.
- Add egg whites to the vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave up His life to give us life. Read John 10:10-11
- Sprinkle a little salt into each child’s hand. Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl. Explain that this represents the salty tears Jesus’ followers shed and the bitterness of our sin. Read Luke 23:27.
- So far, the ingredients are not very appetizing. Add sugar. Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He wants us to know and belong to Him. Read Psalm 34:8 and John 3:16.
- Beat on high with a mixer for 12-15 minutes until stiff peaks form. Explain that white represents how pure we can be in God’s eyes if we are cleansed by Jesus. Read Isa. 1:18 and John 3:1-3.
- Fold in broken nuts. Drop mixture on cookie sheet covered with waxed paper a teaspoon at a time. Each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus’ body was laid. Read Matt. 27:57-60.
- Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF.
- Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door, just as Jesus’ tomb was sealed. Read matt. 27:65-66.
- Go to bed. Talk about how sad it is to leave the cookies in the oven. Jesus’ followers were grief stricken when the tomb was sealed. Read John 16:20 and 22.
- On Easter morning open the oven and hand out the cookies. Notice the cracked surface before you take a bite. The cookies are hollow! On the first Easter, Jesus’ followers were amazed to find the tomb empty. Read Matt. 28:1-9.