Thursday 8 July, 2021 – Rest and Restoration

Exodus 23:10-16 (NIV)

10 “For six years you are to sow your fields and harvest the crops, 11 but during the seventh year let the land lie unplowed and unused. Then the poor among your people may get food from it, and the wild animals may eat what is left. Do the same with your vineyard and your olive grove. 12 “Six days do your work, but on the seventh day do not work, so that your ox and your donkey may rest, and so that the slave born in your household and the foreigner living among you may be refreshed. 13 “Be careful to do everything I have said to you. Do not invoke the names of other gods; do not let them be heard on your lips. 14 “Three times a year you are to celebrate a festival to me. 15 “Celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread; for seven days eat bread made without yeast, as I commanded you. Do this at the appointed time in the month of Aviv, for in that month you came out of Egypt. “No one is to appear before me empty-handed. 16 “Celebrate the Festival of Harvest with the firstfruits of the crops you sow in your field. “Celebrate the Festival of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you gather in your crops from the field.

Heal Country, heal our nation

July 4th -11th 2021 is Naidoc week in Australia. It is a time to listen, learn and celebrate together the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This year Naidoc week is themed “Heal Country, heal our nation.” Heal Country is a call to seek greater protection of lands, waters, sacred sites and cultural heritage. Our daily digests this week will focus on God’s creation and our part in it.

As I read this passage, I’m so intrigued by the concept of Sabbath rest for land. We mostly will have heard of it in regard to people and placing their trust in the lord to provide on the seventh day but the notion of creating a seventh yearlong sabbath for the land, not only allows animals and those less fortunate to harvest but it also brings healing and rest to the land itself. 

Jesus, thank you that you are our provider! Help us to remember that as we live in for you, we also need to rest with you. Help us to live in a way that not only brings rest to us but also to the environment around us. Amen 

Written by Ps. Annique Botta

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